Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, ArkansasOnline, arkansasonline.com
BYLINE: Gavin Lesnick
Little Rock, AR
Photo by Pulaski County sheriff's office
A former Arkansas State Police lieutenant accused of taking drugs from the agency's evidence room and selling them to a dealer has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
Sedrick Reed, 44, pleaded guilty in July to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in exchange for the dismissal of several other charges.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson sentenced Reed to 135 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release. He's prohibited from ever working in law enforcement again after his release.
Reed's defense attorney, John Collins, acknowledged his client's behavior was "egregious," but he asked for a sentence at the lower end of federal guidelines because of positive aspects of Reed's life. He noted Reed, who chose not to address the judge himself, is a former sergeant in the Marine Corps who later ran a program for troubled youths.
Deputy U.S. Attorney Julie Peters countered that Reed's actions amounted to putting drugs back on the streets, a "betrayal" of his law enforcement colleagues that hurt his community and undermined the positive things he did.
Wilson ultimately sentenced Reed at the high end of the guideline range of 120 to 135 months. The guidelines are calculated using information including criminal history, whether a defendant pleaded guilty and other factors.
"He obviously had some good notions at times," Wilson said. "It's tragic he turned and went down the wrong road."
According to his plea agreement, Reed acknowledged that he in 2006 "diverted seized marijuana from a traffic stop for resale" rather than turning it in as evidence and between 2011 and 2013 took cocaine, marijuana and heroin from the evidence room. Before his arrest, Reed supervised the agency evidence room in Little Rock.
The agreement, dated July 29 and signed by Reed and U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer, notes that Reed profited from the resale of the drugs, making more than $200,000.
Reed was fired and arrested last year on accusations he removed the drugs and provided them to his cousin, Lamont Johnson, who then sold it to a confidential informant who was working with law enforcement, police have said.
Johnson's trial is set to begin in February.
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