News and Press Releases

Inmate Allegedly Used Employee to have Crack Cocaine Delivered to Secure Institution

August 1, 2008

LAWRENCE WILLIAMS, 50, a resident of the Washington State Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island was arrested this afternoon and charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine. The arrest follows the arrest Wednesday July 30, 2008, of PAEPAEGA MATAUTIA, JR., 39, an employee of the Special Commitment Center (SCC). The SCC is a secure facility that houses sexual offenders and provides evaluations, treatment, and a therapeutic environment for such offenders. The residents of the SCC have either been civilly committed as sexually violent predators or are pending civil commitment proceedings. WILLIAMS will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on the charge at 2:30 on Monday, August 4, 2008.

According to records filed in the case, the FBI and Washington State Patrol worked with a confidential informant who indicated WILLIAMS had asked the informant to deliver drugs to SCC employee MATAUTIA, JR. The investigation revealed that the drugs had been passed to MATAUTIA, JR. and delivered to WILLIAMS on eight occasions. The investigation indicates the drugs were passed from MATAUTIA, JR. to WILLIAMS in the mail room at the SCC. According to the complaint, WILLIAMS allegedly had unnamed co-conspirators deliver crack cocaine to the informant on July 28, 2008. Working with the FBI and WSP, the informant made recorded telephone calls to both WILLIAMS and MATAUTIA, JR. setting up the delivery for July 30, 2008. The confidential informant met with MATAUTIA, JR. in the parking lot of a Safeway store in Puyallup. Law enforcement substituted sham rocks of cocaine for the drugs that had been delivered to the confidential informant. After the sham drugs were turned over to MATAUTIA, JR. he was arrested. MATAUTIA, JR. was charged with Attempted Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. MATAUTIA, JR. made his initial appearance on the complaint in U.S. District Court in Seattle yesterday.

WILLIAMS was civilly committed to the SCC in 2004, following a bench trial in King County, Washington. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which operates the SCC, cooperated fully with the investigation.

Due to the significant amount of crack cocaine in this case, Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine is punishable by a five year mandatory minimum sentence and up to forty years in prison. Attempted Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute is also punishable by a five year mandatory minimum sentence and up to forty years in prison.

The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Washington State Patrol Department of Social and Health Services Special Investigation Unit.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Otake and Bruce Miyake.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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