Former Highway Patrol Trooper denied early release
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
A Judge has denied an early release request by a former South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper serving a prison sentence for grand theft.
Brian Biehl of Platte earlier this year pleaded guilty to grand theft by law enforcement for keeping nearly $70,000 confiscated from drug searches during his time with the patrol. He was sentenced to five years in prison back in March and is eligible for parole in June of 2018.
A group of supporters, many of whom wrote letters on his behalf, packed a Davison County courtroom Tuesday as Biehl asked the court to reduce his sentence.
Biehl and his wife both told the court about the hardships that resulted from his crime, especially for his family, and asked for leniency.
However, Brule County State Attorney David Natvig told the court Biehl’s actions forced the dismissal of at least, in his words, “two pretty decent sized cases”, involving drug distribution. He added “it gave us all a black eye.”
Judge Chris Giles agreed and reminded Biehl he could have been charged with multiple felonies and added he was lucky to get the sentence he received. Following the ruling Biehl was returned to the prison in Yankton to continue his sentence.