A former rural mail carrier who earlier pleaded guilty to stealing medication that was meant for a veteran who lives in Petersburg, Tn., has been placed on probation for three years.
Federal Judge Sandy Mattice directed that Michael Murdock pay a $10,000 fine. Authorities said the amount of the loss was $11,562.
He must also do 120 hours of community service.
Prosecutors said medication intended for VA patient Liggie Phelps turned up with a number of missing pills on several occasions.
The postmaster said there were numerous complaints about missing VA medication along Murdock's route.
Agents eventually placed green flourescent powder that was not visible to the naked eye on a pill box. They questioned Murdock after he had handled the pill box and found green flourescent powder under his fingernails, hands, chin, mouth, mustache, nose, pocketknife, cellphone and steering wheel of his vehicle.
Murdock, 53, said the arrest had devastated him and his family, and he lost his job. A large number of family members and friends were in the courtroom for the sentencing. He has five children.
His attorney said he "never even had a speeding ticket" before the arrest.
He took medication for a back problem, it was stated.
In another case, a Bradley County man got a 20-year sentence in connection with his involvement with meth.
Prosecutors cited the prior arrest record of Cliff McClain Hall, resulting in a mandatory 20 years.
Hall admitted he was a meth addict and cooked meth almost every day.
There was no one in the audience for his sentencing.
Judge Mattice had noted that often when defendants get up to 30 years in prison there is no one there "on their last day before being sent off to prison."