TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

May 22, 2012

Former Ky. State Trooper found guilty

Charged with carrying firearm during drug trafficking crime


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Times-Tribune Staff Report

Former Kentucky State Trooper Michael Fred Pennington, 35, was found guilty Friday by a U.S. Federal Court Friday afternoon in London of carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

Pennington had earlier pleaded guilty to two federal drug charges.

In September 2011, Pennington had offered Regina West a Lortab pill in exchange for sex, according to testimony.

She alerted law enforcement, so when Pennington arrived at her London home and gave her the pill, state police detectives immediately intervened.

Testimony in the trial proved that Pennington had tried to use his authority to intimidate the woman to have sex for drugs. He was off duty at the time but was still in uniform with his gun when he gave her the pill.

A day prior to his arrest, Pennington escorted a social services worker at the woman’s home to investigate child abuse allegations.

Those allegations were found to be unsubstantiated.

According to a Lexington Herald-Leader story, at the day of arrest, Kentucky troopers “installed recording equipment at West’s home. Two officers, Steve Walker and Tracey Woods, hid in another room while West waited for Pennington in the living room.”

She testified that Pennington called her about 3:20 a.m. He told her he was on the way. He left his cruiser running.

He gave her one of the pills he’d taken from earlier. He again asked her to perform oral sex on him, she said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

At that point he was taken into custody.

“This case illustrates that the Kentucky State Police continues to react wuickly regarding allegation of misconduct involving an employee,” said Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 6, 2012.