TACOMA — A Sequim man who admitted to trafficking large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into Clallam County was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 80 months in federal prison and four years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Daniel Allen Percival, 35, pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm in August.
“There is no doubt that Percival has been a significant part of the drug culture on the Olympic Peninsula for years,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “His actions have directly affected the safety and well-being of a community beset by drug addiction and economic imbalances.”
Percival was arrested in March after federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents and OPNET members raided two homes, one in Sequim and one in Gales Addition, east of Port Angeles.
It was the culmination of an investigation that began in August 2016 after multiple inmates at the Clallam County jail told investigators Percival was a major drug distributor in Clallam County.
Detective Sgt. John Keegan of OPNET said the case involved managing numerous informants and long hours doing surveillance.
“There was always an element of danger because we knew he was armed and using drugs at the time,” Keegan said Thursday, adding that no one was hurt when confronting Percival.
He applauded the work of OPNET, saying the team built such a strong case against Percival that he had “no way out of it,” other than to plead guilty.
Percival’s case led OPNET investigators to other drug dealers in the area who were distributing drugs from Percival, Keegan said.
“Some cases have been closed and some are ongoing,” he said.
By late January of this year, OPNET and DEA officials learned Percival was a local source for heroin and methamphetamine and that he would frequently travel to — or send others on his behalf to — California to receive the drugs, court records say.
When he was arrested March 27, investigators found him hiding under insulation in the attic of his Sequim home, court records say.
When agents found him, he had a zippered case with heroin and cocaine and a knife. The also found 10 firearms, at least one of which was loaded, and more than $14,000 in cash.
In a locked hall downstairs, investigators found a bag with five pounds of marijuana and three more firearms. Percival told investigators her would “coach” others on how to be drug dealers and that he accepted guns as a form of payment for drugs.
Percival previously pleaded guilty in 2009 to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Percival, among others, distributed about 100 pounds of marijuana every month to a customer and re-distributor in Portland, Ore., from 2004 through about May 2007, court records say.
He was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of supervision.
“It is difficult to imagine that anything will deter Percival from further criminality, or that he will suddenly develop a heretofore-missing respect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “It is abundantly clear that protection of the public is a paramount consideration for the court in imposing sentence.”
According to the plea agreement, OPNET and the DEA used a confidential source to purchase from Percival 12 grams of heroin Feb. 7, 12 grams of heroin Feb. 8, 28 grams of meth Feb. 28 and 223 grams of meth March 22.
DEA agents said they seized 159.1 grams of suspected heroin, 37.3 grams of suspected cocaine, 46 pills of ecstasy, 1,875 grams of suspected marijuana, 12 firearms and more than 100 rounds of ammunition from Percival’s residence, the plea agreement said.
In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton, Percival wrote that he was selling drugs in order to repay a debt of $150,000 that he owed someone for marijuana.
“I felt like a hypocrite for supplying dealers while trying to get family and friends off drugs and into treatment,” Percival wrote. “Since those were the drugs available on credit, I agreed to sell them in large quantities to work off the debt.”
He wrote that he was telling himself it was only a temporary situation and that the people he owed money to were dangerous. Percival wrote that he intended to “quit all criminal activity” once the debt was paid.
“Despite my personal feelings of shame and disgust for the drugs and damages they cause, I did it anyways,” Percival wrote.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.