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Former Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy sentenced for child sex crimes and felony drug charges

A tip provided to authorities led to the execution of a search warrant in September of 2020.
A former Osceola County sheriff’s deputy will serve concurrent sentences on a total of nine...
A former Osceola County sheriff’s deputy will serve concurrent sentences on a total of nine counts for possessing child sexually abusive material and committing a number of felony drug crimes, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.(Osceola County Jail)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:54 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a former Osceola County sheriff’s deputy will serve concurrent sentences on a total of nine counts for possessing child sexually abusive material and committing several felony drug crimes.

Andrew Wernette, 39, of Reed City, appeared before Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy in Osceola County 49th Circuit Court earlier this week. In February, Wernette pleaded guilty to the counts below and the sentence for each is as follows:

  • Two counts of aggravated child sexually abusive activity, a 25-year felony;
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 25 years for each count
  • Using a computer to commit a crime, a 20-year felony;
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 25 years
  • Child sexually abusive activity-aggravated possession, a 10-year felony;
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 10 years
  • Child sexually abusive material-distributing or promoting, a seven-year felony;
    • Sentenced to eight and a half months to seven years
  • Larceny in a building, a four-year felony;
    • Sentenced to eight and a half months to four years
  • Possession of a controlled substance – morphine, a two-year felony;
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years
  • Possession of a controlled substance – OxyContin, a two-year felony;
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years
  • Controlled substance-maintaining a drug house, a two-year high-court misdemeanor.
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years.

Judge Hill-Kennedy confirmed all counts are to be served concurrently and Wernette must register as a tier two sex offender.

“This defendant took advantage of the position he held as a law enforcement officer to obtain various drugs for his personal use and engaged in extremely disturbing acts that exploited minors,” Attorney General Nessel said. “We must not stand for this immoral behavior and this office will continue to take action to enforce the law and protect children in this state.”

A tip provided to authorities led to the execution of a search warrant in September of 2020. The search allowed police to discover more than 100 images and videos of child sexually abusive material on Wernette’s computers and cell phone.

It also led authorities to the discovery of drugs that were illegally in Wernette’s possession.

Wernette used his position as a deputy in charge of the drug takeback program at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to procure various medications meant to be disposed of for his own personal use.

Wernette told Hill-Kennedy he was aware he caused a great deal of pain to his family, friend, and former coworkers.

“I have a desire to change. I look forward to using the programs and services that are available to me to further my progress toward becoming a better person,” he said. “I have a strong support system. My wife, mother, and father. Everyone is behind me and still with me. I appreciate that.”

The Attorney General’s office prosecuted the case following a request from the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office due to a conflict of interest.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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