Ex-Deputies Who Sold Drugs From Evidence Locker Receive Shocking Sentence

By Victoria Kim 08/14/17

The two former sheriff's deputies stole and sold marijuana from an evidence locker with the help of a confidential informant.

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Former sheriff’s deputies Logan August and Derrick Penney Photo via YouTube

A federal judge has spared two disgraced sheriff’s deputies of jail time, though the former officers admitted to stealing cannabis from the police department’s evidence lockers and selling it back to the community.

Last Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill sentenced Logan August and Derrick Penney of the Kern County Sheriff's Department in California to probation and a collective 1,750 hours of community service for their crimes. 

The two men dodged a maximum five-year prison sentence. Federal prosecutors had recommended a nine-month prison sentence for Logan August for playing the larger role in the scheme “because the need to deter police corruption of this kind is of paramount importance.” Probation was recommended for Derrick Penney, who played a lesser role and was the one who urged his co-conspirator to come clean.

“[August’s] actions were motivated by greed, and he committed these crimes repeatedly over a nine-month period,” said prosecutors. “His conduct has tarnished the reputation of the KCSO.”

According to the Bakersfield Californian, the two former officers admitted to trimming the tops off of cannabis plants that had been confiscated from illegal grow operations. Then co-conspirators helped trim and repackage the buds to be sold through a confidential informant who had previously worked with August. The men would then share the profits of their operation. 

During the sentencing hearing on Monday, Judge O’Neill addressed the wives of the two deputies. “The two of you have been incredible not to have gotten into the U-Haul and taken off. The both of you should be proud.”

The judge’s decision to keep the men from being locked up is far more lenient than the sentence given to fellow law enforcement officers of the Bakersfield Police Department. Former detective Patrick Mara and his partner Damacio Diaz are currently serving five-year sentences in federal prison. The men confessed to stealing methamphetamine and selling the drugs for profit.

O’Neill’s ruling isn’t sitting well with everyone. “The judge needs to be relieved of duty,” wrote one commenter on the Californian. “These corrupt cops should be in prison. This judge has just given all cops permission to continue with their criminal acts.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr