FRESNO — Two former Kern County sheriff's deputies, Logan August and Derrick Penney, who conspired with another law enforcement officer to sell drugs they stole from evidence lockers, were sentenced here Monday morning to probation. They will do no prison time.

The disgraced officers, who both admitted to besmirching the badge and betraying their fellow officers, their families and the community, had faced maximum sentences of five years.

But in an extraordinary and tearful sentencing hearing presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O'Neill, the two officers were spared prison time by the judge, who was clearly moved by the defendants' remorse, their decision to voluntarily confess everything to investigators, the pain the families have already suffered, and the unwavering support the two wives have given their husbands.

"Being the wife of a law enforcement officer is not easy," the judge told Tiffany August and Callie Penney after asking both women to stand.

"Being the wife of a fallen law enforcement officer is even more difficult."

O'Neill went on to acknowledge that the wives had taken "the brunt," maybe the largest share, of the suffering meted out by the acts of their husbands.

"The two of you have been incredible not to have gotten into the U-Haul and taken off," he said. "The both of you should be proud."

Federal prosecutors had recommended a nine-month prison term for August, who was seen as more deeply involved than Penney.

In a sentencing memorandum filed last month, prosecutors said a nine-month term was appropriate for August in part "because the need to deter police corruption of this kind is of paramount importance."

Prosecutors said August used his position as a deputy to steal marijuana that would have been destroyed and instead helped spread it into the community.

"Defendant's actions were motivated by greed, and he committed these crimes repeatedly over a nine-month period," prosecutors said. "His conduct has tarnished the reputation of the KCSO."

Prosecutors recommended probation for Penney, noting there was no evidence of his criminal activity beyond his one-time theft of marijuana from the storage unit. Penney was the first to go to authorities and helped convince August and former Bakersfield Police Department Detective Patrick Mara to join him in coming clean.

During Monday's hearing, August's "little sister," Stormy August, now 21 — 10 years younger than her brother — told the court that Logan "saved me and my little sister from a very rough childhood."

In fact, August and his wife, Tiffany, brought the younger siblings home to live with them when August was still in the sheriff's academy and the young couple had a 1-year-old baby to care for.

"My husband and I have known each other since the fourth grade," Tiffany told the judge.

After he joined the KCSO, her husband threw himself into his work, Tiffany August said.

"He likes to conquer," she said. "He would work every overtime, every holiday for years."

But she noticed a change in him after he joined the narcotics team.

"I didn't know the burden he was carrying."

Both women broke into tears during their statements, as did August himself, as he apologized to his friend, Penney, his family, his fellow officers and the community as a whole.

He told O'Neill he was aware the judge once worked in law enforcement, and he apologized to him as well.

Penney was less effusive, and while he apologized for breaking his oath to uphold the law and protect the community, he didn't ask family members to speak on his behalf.

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.

That person sold the weed and shared the profits with August, who then shared the money with Penney.

Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.

(14) comments

Cyndy

Did not take long for you to delete my post.
Did I cross the line when I mentioned where our police are training ??

Cyndy

We now live in a country with more bad cops then good. This is not a case of bad apples, because everyone knows that a bad apple must be removed to prevent the destruction of all the apples. If their fellow officers are good cops, they would have been outraged and leaving that courtroom with standing room only space, demanding these criminals be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
How many times have we heard law enforcement say " If you see something, say something " ? Or better yet, charge people that do not rat out a friend or family member ? IMO, when a LE officer commits a crime their punishment should be double what a non LE is punished. Just like OTR drivers pay higher fines and are held to higher standards because as many a cop and judge have stated, " You are a professional driver".
This is just one of thousands of criminal acts committed by LE daily. Until the citizens stop defending and making excuses for what is quickly becoming an occupying army, nothing will change. These criminals are being trained to see citizens as the enemy, by a foriegn military. And it does not matter which side of the party, red or blue, is in office. They are just 2 sides of the same coin and are too coward or greedy to speak truth to power.
How bad are the cops in the US ? GOOGLE,
"Police + Rape, ". Then change rape for one of the many other crimes,. Spouse abuse, drugs, assault ECT ECT ECT .
Has anyone called child protective services on these cops ? What kind of parent allows their child to be involved in their crimes ? Or defense ? The next headline will read, Cop's kids being bullied at school"
Every arrest these criminals have been involved with should be thrown out !
Below is a video that pretty much saids it all concerning these criminals.
Jimmy Dore
https://youtu.be/OJDLCL4idsA

1joscott

There were several things described here that are not appropriate for a trial, especially in Federal Court. First there was an excessive display of emotions and tears from the defendant's spouses. These were orchestrated to throw court sympathy toward former sheriff's deputy"s favor. Excessive displays of emotion and arguments that appeal to feelings are unfortunately too common in U.S. court proceedings. They have prejudiced large numbers of court cases her. Emotionalism has not place in the courtroom, except for an occasional emission from a criminal defendant. Thousands of criminal cases here should be retried because emotional displays have prejudiced the decisions.
Secondly, the fact that the defendant's children were brought in to testify about the defendant is something I have never ever conceived of before. If they are allowed to speak in court at all, there words and intents must be totally disregarded. They certainly are not credible material witnesses, but probably swayed this gullible justice's decision. Emotionalism at work again. How many ordinary criminal defendants are afforded this sort of advantage from family members?
Why is this justice making personal positive evaluations about the defendants' wives as if his lenient court decision was really for their benefit? The feelings of the wives and what happens to them because of the court's decision are not relevant.
Law enforcement officers need to have more skin on the line for their workday actions. If they make negligent misjudgments or even behave criminally, it is always the taxpayer who are obligated to cover for them. A hefty fine might have been appropriate in these cases.
Finally, these convicts need to be permanently barred from law enforcement jobs. Law enforcement is an extended good-old-boy network. and more often than not police convicts are able to find enforcement jobs in other localities. How important is the moral issue of honesty to how many on the beat?

yorkies2014

elections have consequences....Vote Blue in 2018

BaruchZed

The judge needs to be relieved of duty...what a hack...what a poor decision. These corrupt cops should be in prison. This judge has just given all cops permission to continue with their criminal acts. Shame shame shame.

culinaryroost

Is there anything we as citizens can do to let the courts know that this is not right and something has to change. As someone who went to high school with Logan August, I personally know how much of a joke it was when he got hired as a Sheriff. Once a crook, always a crook. He is a disgrace to our county and a disgrace to what this country stands for.

spinderalla

Good morning, Maybe am I the only one who was raised to Recoginize and Respect a officer of the law, When u looked at a cop even without knowing them on a first name basis you knew what he stood for that his job wasn't easy but they did it because they had respect for a law had respect for one another.This comment is the best way to say and get my point across...The got cought HELLO...Hello did they say hey I have a problem I need help...Nope not at all in fact they would be still doing it if they didn't get cought... ..wow .no a punishment is exactly that,so since the men who are suppose to be representing something that was once California state laws but instead are spitting on it,Just remember the saying we get what we give...that's not a threat it just means if they wanna turn there men into laughing stocks ha have at it...have a marvolouse day everyone

jdrch

Probation for trying to sell drugs from evidence? Man, if only Vic Mackey and the other crooked cops from The Shield knew they could have avoided jail time for half the stuff they did, it would've saved them so much trouble!

Nevermind

Different sentences for different members of society. So transparent in this county.

Lamonster

This county? Which officials of this county are any happier with this sentence than you and I are?

Nevermind

Uhhhh.....the one that sentenced them?

Lamonster

So....you didn't know that they were tried in federal court outside of Kern County and were sentenced by District Court judge Lawrence O'Nneill? He's the one that deserves criticism. He is also, BTW, apparently susceptible to being influenced by behavior of defendants in his courtroom, as shown here: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-laughing-court-20151025-story.html

Skylar

The kids are there for sympathy reasons. Make the public feel sorry for him because he has children. This case with it's ridiculous punishment shows other cops that you'll just get a slap on the wrist for doing wrong. How freakin pathetic! They stole it then sold it and got probation. Double standard, don't ya think?!

CampusSupervisor

why is the heck are those kids in the pic .. is this a teachable moment?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.