Ex-police chief’s attorney says sentence should not be based on fake drug deals

April 24, 2013

The day after U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton in Washington and called the former East Washington police chief’s conduct “outrageous” in a sting operation, Donald Solomon’s attorney asked for leniency in his upcoming sentencing, differentiating between an actual crime and government sting.

Solomon, 56, is facing jail time and Hickton, a presidential appointee, represented the government at Solomon’s guilty plea in January. The federal prosecutor said he also plans to be in the courtroom for Solomon’s sentencing May 8.

Solomon’s attorney, in a court filing Wednesday, advocated for 30 to 37 months of imprisonment for her client, while the government and the probation office want a tripling of that term to nine years “all based upon the fictional sting hatched by the government,” wrote Marketa Sims, assistant U.S. public defender.

According to the federal indictment, Solomon met with undercover agents while in uniform and on duty, agreeing to provide distractions for staged multi-kilogram cocaine sales that took place in East Washington and in the park-and-ride lot in South Strabane Township, near Interstate 70.

Solomon also made threats toward a local politician and woman, according to authorities.

He was charged with accepting money from an FBI agent posing as a drug dealer and faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

Sims also took issue with the government’s use of the term “facilitating drug trafficking” in connection with Solomon’s criminal case. “Indeed, Solomon could not have been charged with or convicted of possession with intent to distribute or distribution of drugs because such a conviction requires that the defendant possess or sell actual drugs, which is not the case here,” Sims wrote.

Solomon, she claimed, could not have been charged with nor convicted of selling “nonexistent” drugs.

“The government seek(s) to have this court sentence Solomon for the fictional and nonexistent crime of facilitating a conspiracy.



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