If there was a good cop/bad cop dynamic in the way the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNet) handled patients and providers of medical marijuana, then former Bremerton cop Roy Alloway was most definitely the bad cop.
Known for aggressive and questionable tactics, cannabis advocates vilified the man as a loose cannon, more concerned with cracking skulls then seeking justice.
Today Alloway is known as something else entirely: A felon.
Alloway pleaded guilty to one count of federal gun dealing and tax fraud on Wednesday, and may be sent to prison for up to five years when he's sentenced in January.
Alloway didn't just sell a few guns without a license, either. He sold hundreds of guns without a license--though only two of the sales were directly documented by ATF agents.
According to court documents, Alloway would buy the weapons from private dealers and other sellers, then take them to gun shows around Washington state. This worked well for quite a while, until the ATF got wind of the business and sent some undercover agents to purchase guns from Alloway.
On July 18, 2009, the then-still-working Bremerton cop illegally sold a Springfield Armory .45 caliber handgun and a Walther model P22 .22 caliber handgun to such an undercover agent.
During the investigation agents also learned that Alloway had, on at least one occasion, purposefully lied on his tax returns in an effort to hide the illegal business.
Alloway's conviction no doubt comes as sweet music to the ears of medical-marijuana providers like Steve Sarich, who actually named a strain of cannabis after the rampaging officer (Alloway 420).
Steve Sarich with the powerful Alloway 420 strain.
Sarich, however, isn't completely convinced that Alloway will do time. He writes to Seattle Weekly:
I guess I have to wonder why, after 20 years of getting away with illegally selling guns, and with 400 counts against him, they let him plead to only one count. Could it be that they are not going to give him jail time as part of this plea deal? My guess is that they'll protect their own, as usual, and give him a slap on the wrist.
UPDATE: Emily Langlie in U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan's office takes issue with Sarich's characterization that Alloway was in any way let off the hook. "There were never 400 counts against him. That's simply not how the federal system works," she says. "I think you're allowing Mr. Sarich to shape the
debate story here and that's simply not fair."
"There were never 400 counts against him. That's simply not how the federal system works," she says. "I think you're allowing Mr. Sarich to shape the
Note: Under federal sentencing guidelines, Alloway would receive the same sentence regardless of the number of counts of gun dealing he's convicted of.
Sarich also says that Alloway will be a key figure in a civil lawsuit he's planning to file against WestNet, Bremerton, Kitsap County, and others for the infamous raid on Sarich's house in 2007. Alloway was also part of a team of cops who, during a similar raid, took money from a 9-year-old girl's Mickey Mouse purse.
Fortunately for Alloway, being the illegal weapons-dealing expert he is, we hear that federal prisons have a burgeoning market for shanks and shivs.