ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — A former eastern Kentucky police officer has been sentenced in federal court on drug-related charges.
The Independent (bit.ly/17mceVu) reports U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sentenced 33-year-old Melvin Charles Schoch Jr. on Monday to 75 months in prison. Schoch pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of attempting to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug crime.
Court documents say Schoch entered a home looking to take prescription pills and money under the guise of serving a search warrant while serving as an officer. Records show that neither drugs nor cash were found.
Schoch apologized for his actions during the hearing, saying he had betrayed the citizens he swore to protect.
"There's absolutely no excuse or justification for my actions," he said. "I simply made a terrible mistake and cannot express how sorry I am."
The firearm charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. The attempted possession charge had a maximum term of 20 years, but sentencing guidelines called for 15 months in Schoch's case.
Bunning said letters from Schoch's family and friends explained the reasons for his actions, but didn't excuse his decision to become "a corrupt police officer."
"I'm sorry to have to call a spade a spade, but that's what you were for a time," he said to Schoch.
Schoch's attorney, David Mussetter, asked Bunning to consider sentencing Schoch to time served on the attempted possession charge, but Bunning said that would depreciate the seriousness of the crimes.
"One of the most significant things in this case is setting the right example,"?Bunning told the defendant. "I think it's critical that individuals who are in positions of public trust or law enforcement are held to a higher standard. The adequate deterrence factor is significant in your case."
Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com