A onetime FBI agent who fed his drug addiction by stealing heroin seized as evidence in criminal cases was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison, a punishment far less than prosecutors and other law enforcement authorities sought.
U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected Matthew Lowry’s plea for home detention, noting that the misconduct tainted investigations and forced prosecutors to dismiss cases against 28 drug defendants, 25 of whom had pleaded guilty and were freed from incarceration.
But the judge called Lowry’s addiction a mitigating factor that justified departing from sentencing guidelines that recommended a sentence of seven to nine years. Hogan noted that Lowry took heroin not “to play around” but after he had become dependent on prescription pain medication used to treat a painful intestinal inflammation.
NOTE: Ever notice that federal agents prosecuted and convicted are always referred to by the media as EX-agents when their crimes were committed while on active duty and they didn't lose their jobs until charges were brought? And, wow, addiction is a mitigating factor for this guy and he only gets a 3-year sentence? How's that compare to someone who hadn't worked for the FBI and was brought up on similar charges?