Two former Washington County sheriff’s deputies were sentenced to 50 months in a federal prison on March 7 at the Gene Snyder United States Courthouse in Louisville.
Norris Wayne Bartley, 44, and Billy Joe Mattingly, 42, both of Springfield, will serve over four years in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Both men pled guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
According to the press release, the men avoided a jury trial by entering guilty pleas to carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal drug trafficking crime.
“Bartley and Mattingly were in uniform and on duty as Washington County deputy sheriffs when, acting on information from a confidential informant working for the Kentucky State Police, they seized approximately 30 pounds of marijuana, intending to keep it and sell it rather than to properly impound it for law enforcement purposes,” according to the release.
Defense attorney Elmer George, who represented Bartley, said the men will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.
He said they would likely serve approximately three years, then spend the rest of the sentence in a halfway house.
George said the judge who ruled the case, John G. Heyburn II, couldn’t order where the men would spend their sentences.
He did, however, recommend the Federal Correctional Institution in Manchester, according to George and the sentencing transcript.
George also said Bartley and Mattingly would report to the appointed institution via voluntary surrender.
The former deputies will receive a letter that outlines the date, time and place they are to report to. It will be up to them to report to prison.
George estimated they would remain out of prison for another four to six weeks.
Both men showed remorse at the sentencing.
Mattingly, according to the transcript from the sentencing, said he was broke and he “just couldn’t see daylight anymore.”
“There’s a lot of good people that do bad things they get in a stressful situation, and that’s where I was at,” he said. “And if I could take it all back, I would.”
He also added that he was willing to comply with whatever sentence was handed down.
“Whatever you tell me, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’ve still got a family, and when it’s all over, I’m going back home to them.”
Bartley echoed Mattingly’s words.
“I just got in a spot I felt like there wasn’t no way out of,” he said. “I made a mistake. I’m going to have to pay for it.”
Bartley also apologized to his family and the court.
“I’m sorry I put everybody in this situation. I wish I could redo it, but I can’t,” he said.
Heyburn told Bartley and Mattingly that he appreciate their comments.
“Regardless of the sentence, you’ll both be young when you get out of prison,” the judge said. “So, you’ll have lots of time to redeem yourself to those who you’ve disappointed.”
Heyburn said he was well-aware of the stressful situations that can cause good people to do bad things, however, he had stern words.
“Both of you were under a particular obligation, being sworn officers, to uphold the law and not to break it, and that’s particularly important,” he said.
According to the press release, the penalty for possession of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute is not more than five years imprisonment, with a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than five years.
The release also noted that Bartley and Mattingly did not receive the maximum statutory penalty due to their voluntary pleas of guilty, the absence of any criminal record and their acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with the government.