A former West Palm Beach police officer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for drug and weapons offenses.
Dewitt McDonald, a 46-year-old Wellington, FL man, recently appeared in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale for sentencing after pleading guilty in April to serious criminal charges. McDonald faces charges of carrying his gun while selling drugs through wellness centers that he operated.
McDonald was arrested after FBI investigators determined that he had been illegally selling steroids.
During a two-year period from 2011 to 2013, McDonald operated Prime Performance Wellness Centers in Lake Worth, FL and Prime Health and Rejuvenation Clinic in Wellington, FL. McDonald admitted to illegally obtaining steroids, such as testosterone, by using forged prescriptions. McDonald then sold the drugs to customers.
McDonald also admitted to knowingly carrying his gun while engaging in the illegal drug sales. Defense counsel explained this as an unintended consequence of McDonald wearing his professional attire while making the sales. At the time, McDonald was still a police officer.
McDonald was reportedly overcome with emotion as he stood in open court and “accepted full responsibility” for his actions. The rest of the defendant’s statement was read by his lawyer.
A work colleague of McDonald’s described the former police officer as “a cop’s cop” who had served with honor during his two decades on the force.
As a result of his guilty plea, McDonald was sentenced to serve 60 months in federal prison. He will also be required to pay restitution of more than $25,000. The judge in the case actually had discretion to sentence McDonald to life imprisonment.
McDonald will turn himself into authorities and begin serving his prison term on September 18.
For more information about this case, read the CBS12.com article entitled “Former West Palm Beach Cop Sentenced to Prison.”