Two officers confessed to stealing marijuana from the sheriff’s office evidence locker and selling it with the help of a former snitch. With their blue privilege, the federal judge decided their families had already suffered, so they only got probation.
The 2 deputies with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in Bakersfield, Calif. Logan August and Derrick Penney appeared in a federal courtroom in Fresno on Monday for sentencing, reported Bakersfield.com. U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill was “clearly moved by the defendants’ remorse, their decision to voluntarily confess everything to investigators, the pain the families have already suffered, and the unwavering support the two wives have given their husbands.”
The judge reportedly asked the wives, Tiffany August and Callie Penney, to stand in the courtroom and said, “Being the wife of a law enforcement officer is not easy. Being the wife of a fallen law enforcement officer is even more difficult.”
Of course they were not fallen (dead). They were corrupt thieves, dirty cops, not heroes that died while trying to help people in need.
O’Neill reportedly said the wives had taken the brunt of the suffering caused by the acts of their husbands. He praised them for not leaving their hypocritical, corrupt husbands and for standing by them throughout the circumstances, reported The Root.
“The both of you should be proud,” O’Neill said.
The 2 officers were accused of conspiring with Bakersfield Police Department Detective Patrick Mara and his one-time police partner Damacio Diaz, both of whom were sentenced last year to five years in federal prison for stealing methamphetamine and putting it back on the streets. Both Mara and Diaz admitted to their crimes.
The 2 former deputies “quietly” made plea agreements with federal prosecutors that were not announced to the public, reported Bakersfield.com. They agreed to plead guilty in federal court to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.
The news site reported:
The two deputies “abused” their positions of trust and authority, the plea agreement states, “to take for unlawful personal gain marijuana plants from KCSO property that had been seized in the course of … marijuana eradication operations.
“On or about September 19, 2014, in furtherance of this conspiracy, Penney and KCSO Deputy August used their KCSO-issued keys to gain access” to the department’s marijuana storage unit.
They admitted to cutting the tops off plants and placing them in trash bags. The stolen pot was stored at Penney’s home until another co-conspirator retrieved the stolen pot, and with the knowledge of the deputies, trimmed the crop into usable marijuana, the documents say.
The pot — about eight pounds worth of saleable material — was then returned on multiple occasions to Penney. The deputy then delivered the product, over a period of time to August, who provided it to an individual who had previously worked for him as a confidential informant.
That individual sold the weed and shared the profits with August, who then shared the money with Penney.
They both faced a maximum of 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, a minimum of 2 years of supervised release along with other penalties, and asset forfeiture if their property is determined to be the fruit of ill-gotten gains.
They pleaded guilty in federal court May 15.
Prosecutors only recommended a sentence of 9 months in prison for August, who they saw as being guiltier and more heavily involved in the operation than Penney. In their sentencing memorandum they wrote that they felt the sentence was appropriate in part “because the need to deter police corruption of this kind is of paramount importance.”
Obviously the judge disagreed as he chose a course that will only encourage police corruption with little to no consequences.
The prosecutors said, “Defendant’s actions were motivated by greed, and he committed these crimes repeatedly over a nine-month period. His conduct has tarnished the reputation of the KCSO.”
For Penney, prosecutors simply recommended probation, because there was no evidence of his criminal activity beyond his one-time theft of marijuana from the evidence locker, and also because he was the first to go admit his crimes to the authorities. He reportedly also convinced August and Mara to come clean as well.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)