Updated: Monday, 19 Sep 2011, 5:58 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 19 Sep 2011, 3:06 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Former Albuquerque Police Officer Brad Ahrensfield was sentenced to six months and one day in federal prison, six months house arrest and three years supervised probation for obstructing a federal investigation.
Ahrensfield was facing up to 20 years and federal prosecutors wanted him to serve at least some of those.
After the sentencing Ahrensfield praised the judge for his fairness.
Federal Judge James Parker said while this was a serious offense by a police officer, it was non-violent and he believed it stemmed from misplaced friendship.
He also cited the fact that Ahrensfield has no criminal history and a long praised career in the military and law enforcement.
This case started two years ago when Ahrensfield tipped off a buddy of his that federal investigators were watching him and his downtown car dealership.
The Albuquerque Police Department and the FBI suspected drugs and stolen goods were being peddled out of the dealership.
Ahrensfield has said all along he did this to warn his friend that there may be something shady going on at his business and to protect his own son who worked at the dealership.
Prosecutors said Ahrensfield’s tip ruined the investigation and put lives in danger and that he knew exactly what he was doing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office was seeking serious time in a federal prison they didn't get it.
After Monday’s sentencing News 13 heard from both sides.
“Considering the way things could have gone, I have to, I’m really appreciative of the just call by Judge Parker,” Ahrensfield told reporters outside the courthouse.
“We’d asked for more time and ya know in these types of cases you ask for more, but our position as prosecutors is to decide what charges we should bring or not to bring, who to bring them against and its the courts position to decide what most appropriate,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Yarbrough.
The Judge agreed to recommend that Ahrensfield serve his sentence at a prison in Virginia so he can be close to his sick mother.
When he is done with that he’ll serve 6 months house arrest back here in Albuquerque.
Ahrensfield, who resigned from the force a few months after he was charged, is asking the judge to let him to stay out of prison while he appeals his conviction.
In December a federal jury unanimously found Ahrensfield guilty of obstructing justice.