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Former KCSO deputies plead no contest to stealing drugs and putting them on the street

Derrick Penney, Logan August stole and sold weed
Posted at 1:22 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 20:21:17-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Former KCSO deputy Logan August has pleaded no contest Thursday to stealing drugs and putting them on the streets following a year-long investigation by the Kern County District Attorney's Office.

August was charged with 15 felony counts, including conspiracy and burglary, in connection with stealing drugs from a sheriff’s storage locker and putting them back on the street.

The investigation was initiated following a plea deal between August and Derrick Penny, another former KCSO deputy, and Federal Prosecutors of the United States Attorney’s Office.

The DA's Office said upon learning of the of the Federal plea, KCSO Commander Erik Levig began an investigation in conjunction with the District Attorney Investigator Don Krueger to learn the true extent of the crimes committed by any member of KCSO. This year-long investigation revealed several new offenses committed by August and Penney.

Investigators learned that August had assisted other law enforcement agencies in transporting seized marijuana from a crime scene to the Sheriff’s property room for booking and storage.

August will be sentenced by Honorable Judge Judith Dulcich on October 13.

Penny also entered a plea of no contest to two felony counts of falsifying a police report Thursday. He will serve 90 days in custody and be placed on probation for his involvement in the case.

August and Penny were investigated alongside two former Bakersfield Police Detectives, Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara. Both detectives were sentenced for their roles in the drug ring, however, both sentences were reduced.

In May, Diaz was released from a halfway house in Sacramento, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Mara was released from a halfway house in April after serving a little less than four years in federal prison.

Diaz became well-known after being portrayed in the 2015 Disney movie, McFarland USA, starring Kevin Costner, about the transformation of a running team in McFarland. Diaz was a member of the team that won the state championship.

According to the California Department of Justice, Diaz and Mara deliberately failed to submit seized drugs as evidence and instead provided the stolen narcotics to another man, Noel Carter. Carter would then could sell those narcotics for profit.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood issues statement on deputy pleas

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood expressed his thoughts on the deal.

"I certainly hope the judge does the right thing and treats these former officers as they should be treated, and give them the appropriate sentence and I think that will probably happen, but it's not my role to sentence people," Youngblood said.

David Torres, the attorney for Logan August also spoke out after Thursday's announcement from the district attorney's office saying he believes charges should have never been filed in the case against his client.

"First of all, I don't believe charges should have been filed. There was too much consumption of the public's time, the public's money, and efforts by the public," said Torres. "The reason why it was done was because of the vindictiveness of Sheriff Youngblood and he wants his thumb and finger in everything."

August will be sentenced on October 13th. Penny also entered a plea of no contest to two felony counts of falsifying a police report. He will serve 90 days in custody and be placed on probation for his involvement in the case.