September 29, 2019
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Investigators said Logan August and Derrick Penney stole marijuana from KCSO evidence September 18, 2014 -- the same day they confiscated it during a major bust.
Bill Starr, who was their supervisor at the time, sent a news release the next day on the massive bust -- 140 lbs. of processed marijuana and 3,770 plants. Starr said the drugs had a potential value of $15 million.
Investigators said some of the marijuana made it back onto the streets of Bakersfield -- thanks to August and Penney. According to grand jury transcripts unsealed Friday, the former deputies took 34 lbs. of processed marijuana, worth about $34,000 from a KCSO evidence room.
Additionally, they sawed off the most valuable parts of plants to process into sellable marijuana. According to transcripts, Penney said that's where local businessman Noel Carter comes in, but the extent of his involvement isn't clear.
Carter has pleaded not guilty to federal drug and conspiracy charges in connection to the case against disgraced Bakersfield police officers Patrick Mara and Damacio Diaz. The indictment states Carter made $216,000 by using the office he leased in the Bank of America Building downtown as a dropoff point for drugs and money. The case is ongoing.
Investigators also said the deputies used a confidential informant, who we've discovered owned a pot shop, to get rid of some of the marijuana.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood addressed an ongoing investigation at a news conference earlier this month.
Youngblood said, "We will not stop until we are sure that we have everyone that was involved in this and so, are we through? Probably not."
For more on the witnesses in this case and details of how this unfolded, go to the Kern Corruption page.
There's much more to this 500-plus page document. Over the next few days we'll continue to bring you details of the investigation.