Man pleads guilty to heroin charge, faces decade in prison

EVERETT — A convicted felon who nearly killed an Everett police officer in a fiery car crash five years ago is headed back to prison.

Alan Waterman was out in the community only for a few months before he was snared in an investigation into heroin trafficking in Snohomish County. Detectives with the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force were told that Waterman was peddling more than two pounds of heroin a week out of two Everett apartments on Dorn Avenue.

Waterman was arrested in August after cops raided the apartments. They found $50,000 in two safes and 11 ounces of heroin. The man’s girlfriend reportedly had tried to flush the drugs but the toilet had clogged, leaving plenty of evidence floating around for detectives to collect. Officers found Waterman lying on a bed.

He told police he was considering cooperating with them but he wanted to wait until he knew what they could do for him, court papers said.

Waterman pleaded guilty earlier this week to a drug trafficking charge. He is facing up to a decade in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Valentine’s Day.

Waterman turns 25 on Saturday.

Everett attorney Mark Mestel told the judge that his client had faced a possible federal indictment if he didn’t plead guilty to the charge filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

After the plea, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Janice Albert argued for Waterman to be held on $500,000 bail. She told the judge that since his arrest in August, Waterman had bailed out of jail and continued his criminal ways. He had been arrested for allegations that he assaulted his girlfriend, violated a no-contact order, broke into another woman’s home and tried to elude capture. He also had failed to follow the rules established by the state Department of Corrections. He bailed out after every arrest and was out of custody when he walked into court Tuesday.

“The defendant simply is a danger to the community,” Albert said, in asking for the judge to impose high bail.

He is facing additional charges in connection with his arrests in Lynnwood, she added.

Mestel tried to keep Waterman out of jail over the holidays. His girlfriend has since recanted her story about Waterman beating her up, Mestel said. Two separate witnesses also couldn’t positively identify him as the man they saw pummeling a woman outside a Lynnwood apartment.

“This is not a man running amok in this community,” Mestel said. “Our hope is he can spend Christmas with his family.”

Superior Court Judge Richard Okrent wasn’t swayed to let Waterman celebrate the holidays outside the confines of jail, saying the defendant had created too much chaos in the community already. The Everett man was led away in handcuffs.

Waterman had been released from prison in April. He’d been serving time for a bunch of charges stemming from a methamphetamine-fueled crash that nearly took the life of Everett police officer Suzanne Eviston and her canine partner, Axle.

Waterman, 19 at the time, was driving a stolen Jeep Cherokee and fleeing from the scene of a burglary when he crashed into Eviston’s patrol car.

The car caught fire and Eviston and Axle were trapped inside until firefighters were able to peel the roof off and rescue them both.

Waterman was sentenced to seven years in prison. Because he behaved behind bars, he was free after five.

In just a few short months, he became a high-level heroin dealer, making tens of thousands of dollars from the highly addictive drug, cops said. He stored large amounts of heroin in his apartment and sold out of a smaller apartment being rented to a woman who was then enrolled in the county’s drug court. She has since been booted from the program.

She and Waterman’s girlfriend also face felony charges in connection with the drug trafficking operation.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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