He’ll do 12 months of prison time because of it.
Wednesday, the former Lee County deputy was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock to the maximum time for his guilty pleas to four misdemeanor charges.
“I think it’s more than warranted,” she told him in her Aberdeen courtroom.
Aycock said she hopes Minich’s sentence will serve notice to other law enforcement officers not to take advantage of their position with the public.
Minich, 35, was arrested several months ago and accused of depriving six individuals of their constitutional rights, under color of law, from unreasonable search and seizures. The four incidents occurred in October 2009 in Lee County.
Aycock ordered him to pay $2,810 to the court for restitution to them. She sentenced him to four, 12-month terms to run at the same time. After he leaves prison, he will spend one year under supervised release.
He admitted that while he was a deputy he made traffic stops on motorists of Latin American descent and stole their cash after he asked for their wallets, allegedly to determine their identifications.
Standing before Aycock, he expressed remorse for his actions and asked for the forgiveness of his family, friends and Lee County Sheriff’s Office. About a dozen people were seated in the courtroom audience as a show of support for him.
Lee Sheriff Jim Johnson and FBI agent John Quaka, who investigated Minich, also attended the hearing.
Where Minich will serve his prison time will be determined by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. His attorney, Jason Herring of Tupelo, did not request any specific facility, but his client will remain free on bond until he reports Aug. 23.
“Mr. Minich will serve his months on the misdemeanor convictions and looks forward to getting all of this behind him so that he and his family can move on past these unfortunate events,” said Herring after the sentence hearing.
In his plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford, Minich agreed never to try to regain his professional law enforcement certification.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or email@example.com.