Local cop avoids jail time

By Brett Milam - Editor

Former Owensville Police Department Sergeant, Jacob Hacker, was in court on July 26, where he pleaded guilty to felony theft of drugs. On March 31, Hacker, who is 31, took 13 Xanax pills out of an evidence bag from an evidence locker at the Owensville Police Department.

When Owensville Police looked at the bag again, it was discovered that the 12 of the Xanax pills were replaced with 12 white plain pills.

“When confronted, Jacob Hacker made a statement that he had messed up and took the Xanax pills and replaced them with the white pills and Xanax is a dangerous drug,” Darren Miller, assistant prosecuting attorney, told the court.

Judge Ferenc allowed Hacker to enter into an ILC program, or intervention in lieu of conviction. ILC is an option an offender has in Clermont County to be diverted from the regular court process for criminal cases if the person charged with a felony offense argues that drug or alcohol use, among other reasons, was a factor in the crime. If Hacker in any way fails to complete the 3-year program, he will be reprimanded back to the usual criminal case docket, wherein he’d likely face jail time. However, if he completes the program, supervision and the felony on his record will be dismissed, which Ferenc called “crucial these days.”

“This certainly would be the best plea offered that has really been presented,” he said.

Additionally, Hacker had to give up his police certification received through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, although it’s not clear for how long, but it does not exceed five years. According to Owensville Police Chief Mike Freeman, Hacker resigned in May, effective by June 1. In May of 2016, at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet, Hacker won the Drug Investigation and Arrest Award.

“Legal counsel has said, ‘You do not say anything or you do not release anything,” Freeman said, on why he couldn’t discuss the case. “Everything is still pending.”

Freeman was at the court proceeding, but did not make any comments to The Sun. Additionally, Hacker’s defense attorney, Mark Tekulve, told The Sun that Hacker did not wish to comment. If Hacker had not gone into the ILC program, he was facing six to 18 months in prison, with an additional $5,000 fine.

As part of the ILC program, there’s a mandatory participation period of one year. Ferenc noted that if Hacker is consistently compliant with the program’s sanctions, it’s not uncommon for the probation department to recommend an early termination, like 18 months. Some of those sanctions in the program include:

  • Do not commit any new criminal or serious traffic offenses
  • Do not take or possess any non-prescribed medication or illicit drugs
  • Do not leave the state of Ohio for more than 24 hours without prior permission and a travel pass granted
  • Keep probation officer aware of residence, phone numbers, all social media and email accounts
  • Must maintain verifiable employment of up to 40-hours a week
  • Do not possess or access any firearms

Hacker must also pay at least a $50 supervisory fee a month.

“Hopefully it’ll work out well for you; good luck,” Ferenc said.