BAKERSFIELD — A former Kern County sheriff’s deputy charged with conspiracy to steal marijuana evidence and sell it has apologized in a YouTube video.
In a video posted Sunday, Logan August calls himself “despicable” and a disgrace to the badge he once wore.
He and his wife appear in the video, which was reported by the Bakersfield Californian.
Logan was assigned to a narcotics unit in 2014 when he accessed a storage unit containing marijuana plants confiscated from illegal grow operations. He resigned a year later.
He and another former deputy, Derrick Penney, have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy.
Prosecutors say they conspired with a Bakersfield police detective, Patrick Mara.
Mara and another Bakersfield police employee were sentenced to federal prison last year.
— Associated Press
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Former Fresno deputy Police Chief Keith Foster was “deep undercover” when he was recorded on a wiretap talking about buying marijuana, his attorney told jurors during opening statements Wednesday in Foster’s federal drug trafficking trial.
But the attorney, Marshall Hodgkins, said Foster wasn’t selling oxycodone to his nephew Randy Flowers, saying both had prescriptions for the narcotic.
Hodgkins said federal agents bungled the investigation. He said the former No. 2 man in the Fresno Police Department is innocent of drug trafficking charges.
Keith Foster, who once oversaw patrol operations for the entire city, faces at least 25 years in prison and stiff fines if convicted at trial. Because he believes in his innocence, Foster, 53, rejected a plea agreement that would have resulted in 46 months, or nearly four years in prison, his attorney has said.
The case against Foster, the former No. 2 man for Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and the co-defendants is the product of federal wiretaps and extensive undercover surveillance. The nearly 30-year veteran resigned April 3, 2015, one week after his arrest by federal agents.
A federal indictment charged Foster and six others with participating in three separate conspiracies to distribute heroin, oxycodone and marijuana.
In the wiretaps, prosecutors contend, Foster talks about buying illegal drugs from his co-defendants. In pre-trial motions, Hodgkins stipulated to “the authenticity and admissibility” of the wiretaps because Hodgkins said portions of the recordings also show Foster is innocent.
— Fresno Bee
NEWS IN PHOTOS
Butte County Sheriff’s deputies found nearly 14,000 marijuana plants on a property in Oroville on Tuesday.
Butte County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies served a search warrant around 7:30 a.m at the property on Harlan Avenue in Oroville. During the operation, three men ran from officers and a foot pursuit ensued, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Two of the three men were found and arrested and one man is still outstanding. Their names were not immediately released.
Approximately 13,835 marijuana plants were seized from the property. The suspects had also been diverting water from a nearby canal, formed from seasonal runoff, to irrigate the illegal marijuana grow, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
The two men arrested will be charged with felony cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and two environmental crimes related to the illegal diversion of water, the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
— Sacramento Bee
NOGALES, Ariz. — A shipment of Ford Fusions traveling by rail from Mexico to Minnesota has been found to have marijuana hidden inside the vehicles.
The shipment contained 15 Ford Fusions and each one had marijuana concealed in the trunks’ spare-tire space, the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday.
A truck driver in a Minnesota rail yard had discovered the pot in two vehicles, which prompted a search of the other 13.
Each of the first two cars had 40 pounds of marijuana molded into the shape of spare tires and tucked inside plastic wrap, aluminum foil, coffee grounds and garbage bags.
Authorities had to search as far as 170 miles away from the original report to find all the cars.
Fusions are made at the Ford plant in Sonora, Mexico, and some are shipped by rail through the border crossing in Nogales, Arizona.
Police do not have any suspects, said Steve Linders, a spokesman for the St. Paul, Minnesota, police.
A spokeswoman for Ford said the company is aware of the situation and cooperating with the investigation, but declined to provide any more information
In a separate incident on March 10, railroad police notified the police department in Dilworth, Minnesota, that marijuana was found in a Ford Fusion from Mexico.
Police searched more than 400 other vehicles in the Dilworth rail yard and found 217 pounds (98 kilograms) of marijuana packaged and sealed to look like spare tires in seven new Fusions from Mexico, Dilworth Police Chief Ty Sharpe said.
At the Arizona-Sonora border in May 2015, the Mexican military found 430 pounds of marijuana in the spare-tire spaces of 14 new cars inside a rail car in Nogales, Sonora.
— Associated Press
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Just days after touting their apparent success in discouraging illegal marijuana grows, authorities have shut down two such operations in southern Colorado.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office says it arrested 16 people and seized an estimated 250 pounds of marijuana and 128 illegal marijuana plants from two separate operations discovered Monday on opposite sides of the county.
It says the seized marijuana has an estimated street value of about $500,000.
The Sheriff’s Office says it was tipped off to both operations by the public.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor says he believes his office has made a dent in the number of illegal grows in Pueblo County, but he doesn’t think such activity will go away.
Additional arrests may be forthcoming in both incidents. Investigations into both grow operations are ongoing.
— Associated Press