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Robeson Sheriff's Office Tries to Polish Its Tarnished Badges

Posted October 17, 2007

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— Four years after an investigation into corruption in the Robeson County Sheriff's Office, officials said they hope the department can move forward and re-establish its credibility.

In 2003, Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt ordered an investigation into the sheriff's drug unit, which patrolled part of Interstate 95, a well-known drug trafficking route between Florida and the Northeast. It became a federal investigation.

Dubbed Operation Tarnished Badge, the probe found that deputies were stealing tens of thousands of dollars during traffic stops and paying informants with drugs.

"Those are things you see in a Hollywood script," Britt said. “The number of people that were involved really became shocking.”

More than 20 employees in the sheriff's office, including former Sheriff Glenn Maynor, eventually were convicted in the case on federal charges  ranging from kidnapping and money laundering to arson and stealing satellite television signals. Britt said more arrests are possible.

"Anytime you're in a situation where you see that much money, there's going to be a temptation. The question is: Can you resist that temptation?" he said. "Ultimately, I think it centered on an attitude. They could do about anything they wanted to do.

“It’s as if they operated under a shield of immunity.”

Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, but the investigation has caused changes in the department.

The sheriff's office created an internal affairs division. That unit recently opened an investigation into three former sheriff's employees accused of having sex with a jail inmate, and criminal charges could result.

Noah Woods, chairman of the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, said the sheriff's office now has to rebuild its credibility.

"They’re going to have to earn that trust now. You have to prove to me that I can trust you now. But we've still got some good officers out there," Woods said.

10 Comments

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  • syracuseinwonderland Oct 19, 2007

    whatusay,

    No I've never heard of Prohibition. :) Ever heard of moonshine? Do you believe that if (illegal)drugs were legal that these "victims" wouldn't have any crimes to commit as yukonjohn3 does? Which drugs would you legalize? And how would you regulate them? Would they really be cheaper after taxes?

  • whatusay Oct 18, 2007

    syracuseinwonderland....ever heard of prohibition...the US Government had to legalize liquor in order to stop the boot leggers (and to get taxes on the sales). The government's position was if you can't beat them, join them. Maybe legalizing some drugs would reduce gang violence, killing, and violence. What have we got to loose, we are not winning the war on drugs, and never will.

  • yukonjohn3 Oct 18, 2007

    yukon, you're in Alaska? Are you familiar with Robeson County in any way shape or form?

    As a matter of fact I am. I was born and raised in Moore County and have a friend that lives in Robeson County.

  • aquamama Oct 18, 2007

    yukon, you're in Alaska? Are you familiar with Robeson County in any way shape or form?

  • syracuseinwonderland Oct 17, 2007

    yukonjohn3 wrote:

    "A main point I meant to make was that if drugs were not illegal, there would have been no crimes to commit."

    And you are wrong.

  • yukonjohn3 Oct 17, 2007

    A main point I meant to make was that if drugs were not illegal, there would have been no crimes to commit. I-95 pipeline would be shut down the first day of legalization. The state could collect tax, no money for interdiction, (a fraction of that money could be spent on treatment) and with the crime out of it, people that are destined to die from drugs would get to take the "fast lane". Here in Alaska, our constitution states our right to privacy outweighs the states right to bash down our door for drugs. They remain illegal, but pretty much only if you are out of your house. This pays us a HUGE dividend. We have a FANTASTIC relationship with our law enforcement. They are not adversarial with the people that they protect and serve. This makes their job easier, and they are held in the highest respect. These are just a few of the advantages that I see with legalization.

  • parr4246 Oct 17, 2007

    yukonjohn3..."I feel bad for the Robeson County sheriff's dept. When you put people in a job handling that kind of product, and they are most likely underpaid, what can one expect."

    how can you feel bad about theft......???? They knew what the job paid when they took it.............!!!

  • parr4246 Oct 17, 2007

    Robeson County has had and will always have corruption........Under Former Sheriff Hubert Stone and Glenn Maynor.....too bad that Ken Sealy got sucked deeper into the game......can't wait until the sentencing of Lovin, Taylor and Strickland...if they don't get what time they are supposed too, then the corruption is bigger than ever..............!!!

  • syracuseinwonderland Oct 17, 2007

    yukonjohn3 wrote:

    "They are just more victims of this "war on drugs" that will never be won."

    Excellent defense for these blue gun thugs, maybe you should contact their lawyers.

    "In places that have legalized drugs, this is not a problem. Neither is gang violence, violent robbery, etc. America need to wake up and face these issues."

    This is interesting, can you provide links?

    After we (you) legalize drugs why not legalize arson, kidnapping, robbery, money laundering, stealing satellite television signals and any other crimes these thugs may have committed?

  • yukonjohn3 Oct 17, 2007

    I feel bad for the Robeson County sheriff's dept. When you put people in a job handling that kind of product, and they are most likely underpaid, what can one expect. They are just more victims of this "war on drugs" that will never be won. For any drugs that are confiscated, probably 100 times that much gets to the streets. This will continue to happen as long as their is mega-money to be had. In places that have legalized drugs, this is not a problem. Neither is gang violence, violent robbery, etc. America need to wake up and face these issues. We continue to lose people to this war daily, even law enforcement.