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Former Osceola County Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced for Series of Child Sex Crimes, Felony Drug Charges

LANSING – A former Osceola County sheriff’s deputy will serve concurrent sentences on a total of nine counts for possessing child sexually abusive material and committing a number of felony drug crimes, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.  

Andrew Wernette, 39, of Reed City, appeared Tuesday before Judge Scott Hill-Kennedy in Osceola County 49th Circuit Court. Wernette pleaded guilty to the counts below in February and the sentence for each is as follows:   

  • Two counts of aggravated child sexually abusive activity, a 25-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 25 years for each count 
  • Using a computer to commit a crime, a 20-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 25 years 
  • Child sexually abusive activity-aggravated possession, a 10-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to three years, four months to 10 years 
  • Child sexually abusive material-distributing or promoting, a seven-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to eight and a half months to seven years 
  • Larceny in a building, a four-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to eight and a half months to four years 
  • Possession of a controlled substance – morphine, a two-year felony; 
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years 
  • Possession of a controlled substance – OxyContin, a two-year felony; and 
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years 
  • Controlled substance-maintaining a drug house, a two-year high-court misdemeanor.  
    • Sentenced to five and a half months to two years 

Judge Hill-Kennedy confirmed all counts are to be served concurrently and Wernette must register as a tier two sex offender.  

“This defendant took advantage of the position he held as a law enforcement officer to obtain various drugs for his personal use and engaged in extremely disturbing acts that exploited minors. We must not stand for this immoral behavior and this office will continue to take action to enforce the law and protect children in this state.”  

A tip provided to authorities led to the execution of a search warrant, which allowed police to discover more than 100 images and video of child sexually abusive material on Wernette’s computers and cell phone. It also led authorities to the discovery of drugs that were illegally in Wernette’s possession.     

Wernette used his position as a deputy in charge of the drug takeback program at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office’s to procure various medications meant to be disposed of for his own personal use.   

Michigan State Police conducted the investigation and arrested Wernette on Sept. 14, 2020. The Attorney General’s office prosecuted the case following a request from the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office due to a conflict of interest.