A Seattle man who was awarded $500,000 for being wrongfully convicted of a robbery after serving 10 years in prison was again sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for drug and gun related felonies.
Brandon Olebar, 34, pled guilty in October to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Seattle Times.
Olebar was the first person to get wrongful-conviction compensation from the state after Innocence Project Northwest convinced King County prosecutors that they had convicted the wrong man. Olebar was released from prison in 2013.
At the time, Olebar said he wanted to use the money to get an apartment for his wife and new child, buy a car, pay bills and to go to school.
Instead, he was arrested in January, 2016 on a number of felonies. Police used an undercover informant and learned that Olebar was selling methamphetamine, had driven a getaway car after a burglary and was selling stolen guns out of house, the Seattle newspaper reported.
Olebar was charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm after he sold methamphetamine and a handgun to a paid informant for $1,000 in December 2016 while at his mother’s home.
In 2003, Olebar was sentenced to 16 ½ year in prison after he was convicted of burglary and assault. He allegedly was one of several men who broke into the home of his sister’s boyfriend and beat the man unconscious with a pistol. In 2012, the Innocence Project Northwest learned the conviction was based solely on eyewitness testimony.
Two law-school students worked with the Innocence Project Northwest attorneys and found evidence indicating Olebar was not there and had an alibi.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office reviewed the new evidence and the prosecutor was convinced Olebar was not involved and the charges were dismissed.