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Robeson Deputy Pleads Guilty in Federal Probe

Posted February 12, 2007

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— Another former Robeson County deputy pleaded guilty Monday to drug and kidnapping conspiracy and using a gun in a crime, charges that resulted from the “Operation Tarnished Badge” probe of the sheriff’s department, federal prosecutors announced.

Vincent Sinclair, 44, of Red Springs, admitted taking part in the crimes in December 2003 and February 2004. The drug conspiracy and gun charges each carry five-year minimum sentences, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District, based in Raleigh. No sentencing date was set.

Prosecutors said the investigation, which focused on the drug-enforcement division of the sheriff’s office, has now resulted in 11 convictions.

The charges against Sinclair said he and co-conspirators had waited for a local drug dealer to leave a card game, then stopped him, took him into a wooded area and beat him. He also was accused of having helped kidnap two men in Virginia whom the group believed had a large amount of money. Prosecutors said Sinclair and another man wore police badges and had their guns drawn when they approached the two men.

They drove the men back to North Carolina and interrogated them, but the pair escaped at gas station.
Other deputies have been convicted of shaking down drug dealers after stopping them along Interstate 95.

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  • shoyaryt Feb 13, 2007

    Legalizing drugs??? Are you speaking of only legalizing marijuana..? What's next, crack... or X... or cocaine... or heroine... crystal meph? The rationale of legalizing drugs is simply going to alleviate the legal matter involved. Selling it in ABC stores is not going to change anything... you'll still have people making their own drugs illegally, tax free. And you'll still have our youth getting even higher and more wasted. Crime will not go down... people will still beg, rob and steal to get money to buy the now LEGAL drug. No, we're not winning the "drug war"; no where near winning and we're probably getting our butts kicked, if it is still indeed a war. But giving in by legalizing is not the answer.

  • yukonjohn3 Feb 13, 2007

    svtigrz, I used drugs as a youngster, but have not in years. I live in Alaska where it is a minor infraction to possess marijuana, as long as it is under a half pound. We do not have a marijuana drug problem up here. It is proven that it is not a gateway drug, and I am for legalization with distribution being controlled by something similiar to the ABC stores there. At least we can control somewhat that only adults are using drugs, and sure, there would be underage use, just as with alcohol, but with education, that will be minimal. Does anyone believe we are "winning" the war on drugs?? Is having drugs illegal "eliminating" them? From what I hear in the media, drugs are cheaper than they were when I was using them 30 years ago!! Cheaper MUST mean that they are MORE available than in the 60s and 70s.

  • svtigrz Feb 13, 2007

    Legalize drugs? Are you a user? Have you seen what drugs do to people? Legalizing drugs will not eliminate them. It will increase the usage of it. Our kids will be subjected to it and be told "it's legal, it's ok". Sorry, I don't want a junkie for a kid.

  • yukonjohn3 Feb 13, 2007

    This is a sad story. These persons that are hired to uphold the law are most likely underpaid, possibly undertrained and ripe to commit drug crimes!! When is America going to realize that the "war on drugs" is just a "war on American citizens"? The QUICKEST way to virtually eliminate crime is to legalize drugs!! If you take the money out of them, the crime rate plummets. INSTANTLY!! The money saved can go into education and within a few years, there is no drug problem. Treat drugs just like cigarettes (the worst drug) and alcohol and the results would be amazing!! Think about it.