Cocaine dealer, ‘anxious to put this behind,’ pleads guilty, averts trial

PORT ANGELES – Bernard Gilbert “Pete” Barnes pleaded guilty to six felony drug and money laundering charges on Tuesday.

The 54-year-old Port Angeles man changed his not-guilty plea less than a week before a trial on the charges was scheduled to begin in Clallam County Superior Court.

Court documents from a 2003 arrest referred to him as the primary source of cocaine on the North Olympic Peninsula since 2001.

Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Kelly recommended he be sentenced to six years in prison, fined $30,000 and that he forfeit $8,000 in cash, a Ford Taurus and a Chevrolet Pickup truck, which investigators have seized.

Barnes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver cocaine, using money acquired through criminal activity, money laundering and three counts of delivery of cocaine, all felonies.

He also pleaded guilty to solicitation of cocaine, a gross misdemeanor.

In the change-of-plea papers read by Judge George Wood, Barnes wrote, “I acknowledge my guilt in this and am anxious to put this behind.”

He also indicated on the written form that the police statements filed in court support the accusations.

Barnes offered little more than “yes” and “no” answers during the proceeding.

Sitting in the back row were senior members of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department – Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron, Undersherrif Ron Peregrin and Sheriff Bill Benedict.

Barnes is to be sentenced on Nov. 8 and he will remain out of jail on bail until then.

Barnes’ final sentence will be up to Wood’s discretion.

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