LONDON, KY - A former Kentucky State Police Trooper who tried to trade a woman drugs in exchange for sex was sentenced to 74 months in prison today for drug trafficking and carrying a firearm while trafficking prescription narcotics.
In May, a jury convicted 35-year-old Michael Fred Pennington of the firearm charge. Prior to his trial, Pennington pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. He previously worked out of KSP’s London post.
Testimony at trial proved that Pennington tried to use his authority, including his firearm, to intimidate the woman. Pennington was off duty at the time, but still was in full uniform, carrying his gun, when he gave her the pill.
“This case illustrates that the Kentucky State Police continues to react quickly regarding allegations of misconduct involving an employee,” said Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner. “Although this is a rare occurrence, it underscores the public oath we have taken to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from all criminals."
In September of 2011, while at the woman’s residence on official duty, Pennington spotted a crushed Lortab pill and found a container with some additional pills in her residence. After confiscating the pills, he told her if she had sex with him he would not arrest or charge her; the woman informed KSP officials of Pennington’s inappropriate actions.
The next day Pennington, off duty at the time, offered the woman a Lortab pill in exchange for sex; once Pennington arrived at her London residence and gave her the pill, detectives with KSP immediately intervened. Pennington resigned hours later.
The Lortab pill Pennington provided the woman was one of several he had taken from her residence the day before. KSP officials found the other pills in his cruiser the next morning.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner, and Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, jointly announced the sentence.
The investigation was conducted by KSP and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins prosecuted the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Pennington will have to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence. Following his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for four years.