SAN DIEGO -- Two married former San Diego police officers who broke into people's homes while on duty and stole prescription painkillers to feed their drug addictions were each sentenced Friday to three years in state prison.
Bryce Charpentier, 32, and Jennifer Charpentier, 42, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit a burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime -- possession and sale of a controlled substance -- selling or furnishing a narcotic substance and possession of a firearm by an addict.
The Charpentiers admitted sending text messages to each other in order to set up burglaries in which they stole prescription drugs from people with whom they had contact while on duty. The defendants also admitted stealing Hydrocodone and selling the drug.
Bryce Charpentier apologized to the San Diego Police Department and the community for his actions, saying he became addicted to painkillers because of post-traumatic stress disorder along with disc, hip and spinal pain.
Defense attorney Matthew Speredelozzi said Jennifer Charpentier became addicted after severely injuring her ankle on the job.
“This case has shaken her to the core,'' Speredelozzi said of his client. Jennifer Charpentier said she was “horribly embarrassed'' and “sickened'' by what happened.
Both Speredelozzi and Bryce Charpentier's attorney, Kate Braner, argued unsuccessfully for the defendants to be placed on probation.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Tag, arguing for a seven-year prison term for Jennifer Charpentier and six years in prison for her husband, said the defendants stole from the sick in order to get high.
“These two have betrayed the badge,'' the prosecutor said. "They were wolves in sheep's clothing.''
Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis called the case “very sad," believing that the defendants were remorseful.
Lewis said the case was more serious than the average street drug transaction, highlighted by the fact that the Charpentiers were police officers.
“The defendants are victims of their own addictions,'' the judge said.
She said the Charpentiers were good officers who since their arrests have made efforts to rehabilitate.
The judge ordered the defendants to report for custody next Friday, February 6.