BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The trial of two former Kern County sheriff’s deputies who have previously pleaded guilty to charges in federal court has been postponed to February.
Logan August and Derrick Penney are now scheduled for trial Feb. 3 in Kern County Superior Court on multiple felony charges stemming from the theft of marijuana from a sheriff’s storage unit and putting the drug back on the street.
August’s attorney, David A. Torres, told Judge Judith K. Dulcich on Thursday he has filed several motions and plans to file more, including one alleging selective prosecution on the part of the District Attorney’s office.
Torres has argued the former deputies should not be tried in Kern County as they’ve already been convicted in federal court. He has cited the Double Jeopardy Clause, which “protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction, and it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense.”
At the time the charges were filed, then-District Attorney Lisa Green said it’s not double jeopardy to charge August and Penney in connection with crimes they’ve already faced in federal court because federal and state court are separate jurisdictions.
According to their federal plea agreements, August and Penney admitted to conspiring with another law enforcement officer to sell drugs they stole from evidence lockers “on or about Sept. 19, 2014.”
On Aug. 7, 2017, following an FBI investigation, the two pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and were sentenced to probation.
But a Kern County District Attorney’s office investigation revealed the deputies stole an additional 350 pounds of marijuana than was originally believed. That and other allegations led to the state charges in September of last year.