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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 7, 2017

Former Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced for Marijuana Trafficking

FRESNO, Calif. — Two former deputies with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office were sentenced today for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Logan August, 30, of Bakersfield, to three years’ probation, $16,200 forfeiture, 1,500 hours of community service. Derrick Penney, 34, of Star, Idaho, received a sentence of three years’ probation, $1,200 forfeiture, 250 hours of community service.

U.S. Attorney Talbert stated: “The defendants in this case caused a significant breach of the public’s trust when they committed these crimes. Not only did they betray the community they were sworn to serve, but also their fellow, hard-working officers who protect the Kern County community every day. My office is thankful for the hard work and cooperation of our law enforcement partners in bringing this conduct to light. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting anyone who abuses their law enforcement position for their own selfish gain."

“An officer’s badge is the ultimate symbol of integrity, pride, trust, and authority to protect and serve the public. Every day across America thousands of brave men and women in law enforcement uphold the meaning of that symbol by working tirelessly and placing themselves in harm’s way to serve their communities. The criminal behavior demonstrated by Logan August and Derrick Penney endangered the public and their colleagues. Both August and Penney will now face the legal consequences for their actions,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin. “DEA will work with our law enforcement counterparts to hold accountable those who tarnish the badge and betray public trust.”

According to court documents, between June 2014 and October 2014, while working with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) as sworn peace officers, 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 was 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
1:17-cr-087-LJO; 1:17-cr-088-LJO
Updated August 7, 2017