Local News

Former Deputy Arrested In Cumberland Prostitution Sting

Posted July 31, 2006

— A former Cumberland County sheriff's deputy was among a number of individuals arrested early Sunday morning in a prostitution sting, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Authorities arrested 29 people as part of "Operation John" along U.S. Highway 301 and East Mountain Drive late Saturday and early Sunday.

David Alan Stewart, 47, of Hope Mills, was charged with soliciting for prostitution and a crime against nature, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said Stewart was also a candidate in last year's Cumberland sheriff's election race.

Tanna said investigators watched Stewart, a 20-year veteran of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, survey the area for several minutes before offering an undercover female officer money for sex and allegedly agreeing to meet her in another location.

"Anytime you see a fellow law enforcement official get into any kind of trouble there is a certain amount of disappointment, and yes, we were surprised," Tanna said.

Stewart could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but his mother said he was innocent of all charges and would fight them in court.

A number of women were also arrested and charged with soliciting undercover male deputies.

"All of these people were in the area where we concentrated our sting operation and that all of these people who were given citations, they propositioned our female officers," Tanna said.

Tanna said Stewart is now a deputy with the Hoke County's Sheriff's Office. Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin, however, told WRAL Sunday night that Stewart left the office in 2004.

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