Wash. Sgt. Busted in Bikini Barista Prostitution Ring

By Geetika Rudra

Jun 27, 2013 2:39pm

A sheriff’s sergeant was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly having sex with a prostitution ring leader in exchange for giving her information on undercover police operations.

Sgt. Darrell O’Neill, 58, of Everett, Wash., has served in the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years. He allegedly had sex with Carmela Panico, the owner of several bikini barista coffee shops that allegedly provided the front for her escort service, in exchange for giving her information about a police investigation targeting Panico, according to a police report filed in Snohomish County on Tuesday.

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According to the report, O’Neill received sexual favors from Panico, her manager Samantha Lancaster, and other baristas.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office did not return a request for comment.

The investigation began on March 10, 2013 when the Snohomish Sheriff’s Office received tips of lewd activity in a bikini barista coffee stands called Twin Peaks and Java Juggs, according to the report.

The sheriff’s office arrested several baristas. They told interviewers about a “dirty cop” who frequently visited the stands and requested sexual encounters in exchange for information, the report said.

The “dirty cop” was identified by the baristas as O’Neill, according to the report. Surveillance footage captured O’Neill visiting Panico while he was on and off-duty.

“O’Neill has provided guidance to the baristas as to when the best times to ‘perform’ their shows,” the report said.  ”He intentionally refrained from performing his duty imposed upon him by law.”

O’Neill has been charged with promoting prostitution, official misconduct, and criminal conspiracy.

O’Neill could not be reached for comment.

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