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Ferry worker found dead after being detained following incident on ferry

By NATALIE MARTIN

A ferry worker on Vashon’s north-end route was found dead in his cell at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac last weekend after being taken into custody on suspicion that he violated his probation.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Steven Allen Dailey, 50, died by suicide Saturday at the detention center.

Dailey was taken into federal custody on Friday for allegedly violating his probation, according to Connie Smith, Chief US Probation and Pretrial Services Officer. While Smith declined to give details of the incident that led to Dailey’s arrest, several local media outlets reported that Dailey had been seen on the Tillikum ferry taking pictures of young girls on his cell phone.

Sgt. DB Gates, a spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that deputies were called to Vashon’s north-end ferry terminal to investigate after Dailey was reported to have taken photos of girls. However, deputies did not arrest Dailey then because there was “no probable cause,” Gates said. She said the officers took Dailey’s cell phone as evidence, but the case was closed after Dailey’s death. Dailey was taken into federal custody on Friday after the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a motion seeking his arrest.

Local media identified Dailey as a sex offender; however Smith would not confirm that either, and Dailey was not listed in any local sex offender databases.

According to The Seattle Times, Dailey pled guilty in 2010 to receipt of child pornography after it was found he had accessed child pornography websites and traded child porn in chat rooms. He served 30 days in federal custody and was given 10 years probation.

According to the Times report, court documents say Dailey admitted to viewing child pornography for several years and was “glad he was caught” because he was struggling to quit.

Dailey was a permanent employee on the north-end triangle route since 2001, according to Marta Coursey, a spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries. On Friday, before Dailey’s death, Coursey said he had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an external investigation. She declined to give any further details on his employment.

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