Former Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies Plead Guilty to Marijuana Trafficking
FRESNO, Calif. — Logan August, 30, of Bakersfield, and Derrick Penney, 34, of Star, Idaho, former deputies with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between June 2014 and October 2014, while sworn peace officers working with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), August and Penney abused their positions of trust and authority by conspiring with former Bakersfield Police Department detective Patrick Mara and an individual who previously worked as a confidential informant for August, and others, to steal marijuana from a KCSO storage unit and sell it for unlawful personal gain. The marijuana had previously been seized during investigations into marijuana grown on public and private lands. Once August and Penney obtained the marijuana from the storage unit, they had it processed (trimmed) into approximately eight pounds of usable marijuana. August then delivered it to his former confidential informant, who sold it and provided August with part of the proceeds from those sales. August then shared the proceeds with Penney and Mara. August and Penney received approximately $1,200 each from the sale of this marijuana.
Additionally, according to August’s plea agreement and other court documents, between March 2014 and December 2014, while a sworn peace officer assigned to the KCSO Major Vendor Narcotics Unit, August routinely participated in law enforcement marijuana eradication operations on public and private lands. During this time, August abused his position of trust and authority as a KCSO deputy by conspiring with a former confidential informant to take marijuana plants and processed marijuana from these law enforcement marijuana eradication operations and sell that marijuana for unlawful personal gain. On 10 separate occasions between March 2014 and December 2014, August wrongfully took marijuana from a law enforcement eradication operation for personal gain. August distributed to his former confidential informant the equivalent of 25 pounds of usable marijuana wrongfully taken from these law enforcement eradication operations. August received $15,000 from the sale of this marijuana.
August and Penney have agreed to forfeit the proceeds of the marijuana trafficking.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bakersfield Police Department. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office fully cooperated in this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela Scott and Brian Delaney are prosecuting the case.
August and Penney are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on August 7, 2017. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.