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July 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Snohomish County deputy arrested in prostitution probe resigns

Sgt. Darrell L. O’Neill, the deputy embroiled in a prostitution scandal centered around espresso stands, has resigned from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

O’Neill’s actions, which prompted his arrest last month for investigation of conspiracy to promote prostitution and official misconduct, had been under investigation by the sheriff’s Office of Professional Accountability before his resignation. O’Neill, 58, a 30-year department veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest.

Shari Ireton, director of communications for the sheriff’s office, said the department has suspended its internal investigation into the matter since O’Neill is no longer an employee.  The criminal investigation is ongoing.

O’Neill and Carmela A. Panico, 51, owner of Java Juggs and Twin Peaks drive-thru espresso stands, were arrested June 25 as part of a months-long prostitution investigation coordinated by the Everett Police Department.

O’Neill allegedly provided “sensitive information” to Panico, including a description of an undercover patrol vehicle and advice on how not to get caught, said Dan Templeman, deputy chief for the Everett Police Department.

In exchange, O’Neill allegedly received sexual favors.

Police say that some of the baristas at Java Juggs were making big bucks, including one who reportedly earned $100,000 in tips last year. Customers would routinely pay $20 for a cup of coffee and a “show” by scantily clad baristas that ranged from flashing the customer to sex, according to a search warrant.

The search warrant says that surveillance footage captured by hidden cameras placed around the stands showed O’Neill showing up repeatedly at two Java Juggs locations in Everett while on duty and in uniform and chatting up the baristas.

“The surveillance video also shows O’Neill hugging and kissing several of the baristas,” the warrant says, noting that he never bought a cup of coffee.

0 Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: prostitution, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

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