Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced to Probation for Conspiring to Sell Drugs They Stole

In an extraordinary glimpse into his thought process, Judge O’Neill told August he was leaning heavily toward giving him prison time.

He said every law enforcement officer faces temptation.

“I also know the vast majority do not succumb to temptation and do not go in the wrong direction,” the judge said.

But even as he pointed out the deputies’ failures, he seemed ready to give them a break. Although he did require August to perform 1,500 hours of community service, and Penney to perform 250.

“The inference I draw is you woke up,” O’Neill said.

Unlike the two BPD officers who faced more serious charges, August and Penney will not see a jail cell.

Mara and his former BPD partner, Damacio Diaz, are currently serving five-year sentences in federal prison for stealing methamphetamine and putting it back on the streets for profit.

All four former cops have admitted to their crimes.

According to the plea agreements, August and Penney stole marijuana from the sheriff’s storage unit that had been previously confiscated from illegal grow 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, the agreements state.

The two admitted to cutting the tops off plants and placing them in trash bags, storing the pot at Penney’s home until another co-conspirator retrieved it. That person trimmed the plants into usable cannabis.

About eight pounds of saleable pot was then returned on multiple occasions to Penney, according to the documents. He 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.

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