Home » Firm News » Married San Diego Police Officers Plead Guilty to Drug Charges & Pleading to the Sheet
Married San Diego Police Officers Plead Guilty to Drug Charges & Pleading to the Sheet
Whenever I see someone plead guilty to all the charges this usually means there was no offer taken.
The prosecution usually makes an offer. Sometimes the offer reduces the amount of charges while other offers have terms given (such as the DA offering 2 years prison).
When someone pleads to ALL charges you “plead to the sheet” and plead guilty to the entire complaint. This means the sentencing is going to be up to the judge because you are effectively taking the prosecution out of the negotiating. Now, the judge will consider the prosecutions arguments at sentencing. However, the judge gets to make the final call.
This can be an effective strategy when the defense is banking that it has demonstrated to the judge the sentence should be carried out in a certain way. It is tough to tell a client they have to plead to every charge; however, when you can tell them their exposure for jail or other terms is better if they leave the sentencing to the judge.
It is a tool that defense attorneys can use effectiely when the situation calls for it.
It is one of the reasons you need to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Two married San Diego Police officers have pleaded guilty to all drug charges against them, including burglarizing homes while on duty and running a hydrocodone distribution network in the county.
Bryce Charpentier, 32, and Jennifer Charpentier, 41, admitted Wednesday to selling and furnishing a narcotic substance, possession of a firearm by an addict, conspiracy to commit a burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime: possession and sale of a controlled substance.
As a result, the two resigned from the SDPD, effective Wednesday.
“Both of these individuals will have to face the consequences of their actions, which have diminished the great work our officers do every day to serve our City,” said SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman in a statement.
They are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, and they each face up to seven years and eight months in prison.
In addition to pleading guilty, they have waived their 4th Amendment search and seizure rights, which means law enforcement can search them at any time.
The officers’ change of plea comes two days after new charges were filed against the couple, accusing them of stealing prescription medication from their parent, burglarizing a home while on the clock as officers and leading a distribution chain.
Bryce, a six-year veteran of the SDPD, and Jennifer, an 18-year veteran, were arrested in June during a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigation.
Suspected of being addicted to opiates, both officers were initially charged with selling and furnishing a controlled narcotic substance and possession of a firearm by an addict.
Search warrants say Jennifer got seven different drugs in 71 prescriptions from seven separate doctors and then traveled to 17 pharmacies to fill them. Bryce is accused of going as far as Oakhurst near Yosemite to fill 79 prescriptions from six different doctors.
Then this week, a new complaint shed more light on the accusations against them.
In it, investigators quote text conversations between the married couple that outline their search for drugs they refer to as “V.”
One alleged victim was Jennifer’s mother. During her visit to their home, Bryce texted his wife he was coming back and pulling into the driveway. At that point, Jennifer texted she was taking her mother into the backyard, presumably to distract her while Bryce took prescription medication from her.
The final text from the conversation is from Bryce, telling Jennifer that he placed “V” for her in a candle, the complaint says.
Less than a month later, Bryce texted his wife that he got “a decent amount” during a visit to his mother-in-law’s, according to investigators.
A separate incident described in the complaint involves a victim identified as “M.B.”
According to the complaint, M.B. locked himself in his own bedroom on Jessica’s request, while Bryce and another officer came into his home to use the restroom. The given excuse was that the officer did not want M.B. to see him in his undercover clothes, the complaint says.
M.B. later found out that his legally prescribed medication was stolen.
The complaint says in January 2014, Bryce and Jennifer had offered to take over an existing hydrocodone distribution network in the county. They are accused of making deliveries while their child was with them.
According to prosecutors, the couple was found with a substantial amount of hydrocodone in their possession and was seen completing at least two transactions within a matter of
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