RALEIGH, N.C. — A former Fayetteville police officer used his badge to scout out vacant homes that would be easy marks for eight others in a burglary ring, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Jared Benjamin Parsek, an officer with the Fayetteville Police Department from August 2003 to February 2005, along with eight other men who were not police officers, were indicted by a federal grand jury last month on several federal charges, ranging from drug possession to obstruction of justice.
Federal authorities allege that for nearly a year starting in September 2003, the group used "police methods" to break into and rob six homes in Fayetteville, Raleigh and Beech Mountain.
According to prosecutors, Parsek would collect information about burglary targets by responding to a police call himself or by learning of the location from his police radio.
"Parsek would then communicate with and notify the civilian conspirators that based on knowledge he obtained while a police officer, certain residential locations were identified as being vacant or otherwise empty and ripe for the conspirators to break in to and steal property," federal prosecutors said.
Parsek would then plan and execute the break-ins, identify and steal the desired property, such as guns, drugs and electronics, and later divide up the property, the indictment said.
Sources tell WRAL that the theft ring was uncovered during the investigation of a high-profile murder case last fall where two Chicago men were killed during a tailgate party at a North Carolina State University football game.
The gun used in the tailgate shooting deaths were linked to Parsek's friend, Justin Barron McCarty, 24, of Fayetteville, who the FBI found was connected to a string of home break-ins allegedly orchestrated by Parsek.
Parsek, 26, of Fayetteville, was charged 12 offenses, including civil rights violations, drugs and firearms possession, as well as making false statements to an FBI agent.
Others named in the indictment were McCarty, Christopher Paul Edge III, 23, of Fayetteville; Scotty Jowayne Cornwell of Maryville, Tenn.; Michael Ulysses Poole, Jr., 26, of Fayetteville; William Franklin Stausing, 26, of Fayetteville; Patrick Gregory Smith, 25, of Spartanburg, S.C.; James Patrick Richling, 25, of Wilmington; and Michael Anthony Timal, 23, of Fayetteville.
A trial date has not been set.