When we reported last week on the arrest of 26-year-old Joseph Depaco after a police search in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, we noted that court records revealed he had just been sentenced in another case. Tonight we have word of a charge filed in last week’s incident, plus an explanation of why he hadn’t begun serving the alternative sentence he got for the other case. (At left is a photo of Depaco we obtained from the state Corrections Department.)
The new charge filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is possession of a stolen vehicle, a felony. The vehicle in which police say they found Depaco in the greenbelt was a stolen Toyota Tacoma pickup. A passerby reported it as suspicious, and responding officers say that after they found Depaco asleep in the vehicle, he woke up and bolted, which led to a ground and air search that resulted in his arrest. (He is not charged in connection with the under-construction gun found in the vehicle.)
We had asked the KCPAO for more background on why Depaco wasn’t already in the residential drug-treatment program to which he was sentenced as part of a three-case plea bargain February 4th. He was supposed to enter the program within a few days, they explain, but after the sentencing, the treatment provider canceled the original date and said it would not have a bed available until today. Depaco had been out of jail since January 7th, which the KCPAO says was his original sentencing date, and that’s why the new charge was filed today with an “aggravating factor” of “rapid recidivism.” That could lengthen the sentence if he’s convicted. Tonight Depaco – who already has seven felony convictions – remains in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail and is due next for arraignment on the new charge February 28th.