Former Idaho deputy handed maximum sentence for grand theft

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HAILEY, Idaho (AP) A former central Idaho sheriff's deputy who was found guilty of stealing from a police program was sentenced to 14 years in state prison.

Chad Schiermeier, 40, was handed the maximum sentence Tuesday after a jury convicted the former Blaine County deputy of felony grand theft in September, the Idaho Mountain Express reported .

Schiermeier must serve six years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Schiermeier worked as the director of the Police Activities League at Wood River Middle School in Hailey, part of a national program to prevent juvenile crime. Prosecutors said he made more than $80,000 in unauthorized purchases for personal use from 2009 to 2015.

Schiermeier bought high-end hunting and camping equipment, including cameras, binoculars, video equipment and truck accessories, authorities said.

George Breitsameter, Schiermeier's defense attorney, argued that his client should be placed on probation and that his prison sentence be suspended because he did not have a prior criminal record.

While Schiermeier has been held in the Twin Falls jail, Breitsameter said his client has received inadequate health treatment and he lost more than 30 pounds (14 kilograms) in 75 days with 40 days in solitary confinement.

Judge Jonathan Brody sided with prosecutors, ordering the maximum sentence, but he did not impose the $5,000 fine that prosecutors sought. Restitution was also not ordered though the judge left it open for 60 days should an agreement be reached.

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Information from: Idaho Mountain Express, http://www.mtexpress.com

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