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Oak Harbor Police hope long sentences will take a bite out of crime

Oak Harbor resident Michael Koepke recently pleaded guilty and was sent to prison for more than eight years. - Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor resident Michael Koepke recently pleaded guilty and was sent to prison for more than eight years.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

Four men known for dealing drugs in Oak Harbor received lengthy prison terms over the last month.

Michael K. Koepke was sent away for 11 years and eight months. Brent E. Lambert receive a sentence of six years and eight months. Scott A. Chamberlin got five years and eight months. Kevin T. Rollyson got an even 10 years.

Police officers said they hope that taking the dealers off the streets not only means fewer drugs circulating in the community, but a slow down in property crimes.

There’s been an notable increase in burglaries on Whidbey Island during the past six months, which law enforcement officials said they believe is likely related to drug use.

Detective Carl Seim, the drug investigator for the Oak Harbor Police Department, was responsible for bringing down three of the four drug dealers by working with informants and conducting “controlled buys” of methamphetamine and heroin.

Seim said he targets the most prolific drug dealers.

He said he often tries to “flip” lower-level drug dealers who get busted.

“It will probably quiet down for a couple of months until someone is brave enough to start doing a lot of dealing,” he said.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme handled the cases against the four men and took a hard stand in court.

“Drugs are the root of much of the crime in Island County,” he said. “Thanks to the efforts of the Oak Harbor Police department a number of local drug dealers have recently been taken off the streets and received significant prison sentences. I am hopeful that the amount of drugs available on the streets will be diminished and that anyone thinking of selling drugs will think twice knowing that they are likely to end up in prison for a lengthy term.”

According to court records, Seim executed a search warrant at Koepke’s home on Oak Harbor Road last May and seized $9,276 in cash, plastic bags containing meth and a 9 mm handgun.

As part of a plea bargain, Koepke pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver meth, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

At the Jan. 3 sentencing hearing, Koepke’s attorney argued that his client should be sentenced under the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, or DOSA, which reduces or eliminates confinement time for addicted offenders in exchange for chemical dependency treatment and strict supervision.

The Department of Corrections conducted a risk assessment of Koepke prior to the sentencing to help determine if he should received a DOSA.

The report states that Koepke said that for the first time in his life he actually wanted to stop using drugs.

At age 28, he’s never been employed or collected a a paycheck, the report states. He claimed that he was using up to $1,000 worth of drugs a day at one point.

“In the morning he would consume Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola, followed by an ‘eight ball’ (10-12 grams) of cocaine, a quarter ounce of methamphetamine to ‘level off’ and smoked marijuana all day long,” the report states.

“He described himself as ‘barely functioning’ and was continually in a ‘haze.’”

The corrections officer wrote that Koepke married his 18-year-old girlfriend while he was in custody; she recently gave birth to his child.

Ohme recommended that Koepke receive a sentence of 140 months and Judge Alan Hancock agreed.

Lambert was arrested Oct. 4 after the Department of Corrections searched his Oak Harbor home and two cars; the officers found meth, heroin, pot, scales, cash and a handgun, according to court documents.

On Jan. 6, Lambert pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver meth and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Under the plea bargain, the prosecution and defense recommended an 80-month sentence; the judge agreed.

Chamberlin pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to possession with intent to deliver meth.

Seim obtained a search warrant and search Chamberlin’s home on Hawks Prairie Road Dec. 24. The detective found a plastic bag containing meth, as well as a ledger with names and dollar amounts for “fronts,” which are drugs given on credit, according to Seim’s report.

“Chamberlin currently has drug users owing him over $2,800 for fronts,” Seim wrote.

Rollyson, a 48-year-old Oak Harbor man, has a criminal history with 10 felony convictions, including vehicular assault and multiple drug-related offenses, court records indicate.

In the fall of 2012, Seim served a search warrant on Rollyson’s home on Northwest Illahee Drive; Rollyson’s teenage son was present at the time.

The detective located dozens of yellow, green and orange pills, numerous plastic bags containing meth, a syringe loaded with heroin and a handgun, according to Seim’s report.

Rollyson pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to possession with intent to deliver meth and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The judge sentenced Rollyson Jan. 21 to 10 years behind bars.

 

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