Married SDPD Officers Sentenced in Drug Sales, Burglary Case | NBC 7 San Diego

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Married SDPD Officers Sentenced in Drug Sales, Burglary Case

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    Two married San Diego Police officers convicted of drug sales and burglary charges were sentenced to three years in state prison in a downtown courtroom Friday. NBC 7's Rory Devine reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 30, 2015)

    Two married San Diego Police officers convicted of drug sales and burglary charges were sentenced to three years in state prison in a downtown courtroom Friday.

    Bryce Charpentier, 32, and Jennifer Charpentier, 41, admitted to selling and furnishing a narcotic substance, possession of a firearm by an addict, conspiracy to commit first-degree residential burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession and sale of a controlled substance.

    As a result, the two resigned from the SDPD in November. Jennifer also lost partial custody of her kids after her arrest.

    In court Friday, Bryce was teary as he apologized to the department and his family. The prosecution, however, called him "manipulative."

    In an attempt to argue against jail time, the defense said the two never used their authority status and witnesses did not know they were cops. They also said the two have gotten clean and are active in 12-step programs, and that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder contributed to their actions.

    Prosecutors asked for maximum sentences for both, saying other officers who suffer addiction and PTSD don't start distribution labs.

    District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a press conference following the sentencing that "no one is above the law."

    "As police officers, their job was to protect the citizens of San Diego; not to victimize them," she said.

    Both officers initially pleaded not guilty, but changed their pleas 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.

    San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman also spoke out about the case saying, "It is reprehensible that these two former officers made the terrible decision to betray and discredit our badge and our profession."

    Zimmerman said after the launch of the Sheriff's Department's investigation, she and her department cooperated fully and "the public trust is too important for anything less."

    Sheriff Bill Gore joined Dumanis and Zimmerman at the press conference.

    "I know I speak for everyone up here today when I say that we'd rather be up here for almost any other reason than to discuss the sentencing and prosecution of law enforcement officers," Gore said.

    He said he thinks the collaborative efforts between SDPD and the sheriff's office were successful, adding, "It's been said that trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair."

    Search warrants said Jennifer got seven different drugs in 71 prescriptions from seven separate doctors and then traveled to 17 pharmacies to fill them. Bryce went as far as Oakhurst near Yosemite to fill 79 prescriptions from six different doctors.

    One victim was Jennifer's own mother. During a 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.

    Before the couple's sentencing, Jennifer said she and her mom have worked things out and her mom wrote a letter to the court.

    The judge said she gave probation serious consideration, but the case does not involve simple street corner drug sales, and denied the motion. However, the two are out of custody until Feb. 6 and will only serve 50 percent of their sentence on good behavior.

    The couple was also ordered to pay $5,000 each in restitution.

    This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.