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Stiff Sentencing in 'Operation Tarnished Badge' Continues

Posted November 16, 2007

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— A federal judge continued to hand out stiff sentences to Robeson County deputies, who were rounded up in a five-year investigation that has implicated 20 law-enforcement agents, including the former sheriff.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle gave the maximum recommended sentences to Paul Pittman and Billy Hunt of six months in prison and three years of supervised parole. Defense attorneys had argued for less jail time, because both men cooperated in Operation Tarnished Badge.

The former deputies were accused of doing personal and campaign work for then-Sheriff Glen Maynor while they were county employees. Maynor paid both Pittman and Smith $500, officials said.

Boyle rejected a recommended sentence for Joey Smith, saying it was too lenient. Smith has admitted to conspiring to misappropriate around $4,000 in federal drug-enforcement money.

His attorney agreed to rescheduled sentencing in order to prepare a response to Boyle's warning.

In October, Boyle gave a 21-year jail sentence to former deputy Patrick Ferguson for the kidnapping and attempted robbery of two drug dealers. Boyle overruled prosecutors' recommended sentence of slightly more than eight years.

Federal agents made Operation Tarnished Badge public in June after beginning it five years ago. So far, 20 Robeson County law-enforcement agents have been arrested for various offenses.

More serious charges against deputies included kidnapping and money laundering. Many of the deputies charged were involved with drug enforcement, and District Attorney Johnson Britt said he has dismissed between 200 and 300 drug cases because they were tainted.

16 Comments

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  • Kidw4legs stops in Nov 17, 2007

    Yukon John wrote: "I know someone in the Robeson County Sheriffs office that is NOT crooked. I feel bad for that individual. I feel bad for the whole issue. These officers are underpaid, and poorly trained in many cases and see the people they arrest making out like bandits!! Vote for Ron Paul. He is for ending this stupid drug war, and as soon as drugs are legal, ALL THE CRIMINALITY will cause the price to PLUMMET!!"

    I've been following Dr. Paul for about 10 years now, and have lauded him for most of that time. At one point, I corresponded with a member of his staff on a particular issue that we were working on, and told that gentleman way back then that I wished Rep. Paul would run for President.

    I believe that Ron Paul is made of the right stuff, however, I don't think that the man he is could stand the repulsive corruption that makes up the Washington. I'm not sure I want a good person like him to undergo what is likely were he to land in the position of POTUS!

  • Jokers Wild II Nov 17, 2007

    Skeet Skeet Skeet.. Ive looked over my post and I have YET to see where I said I put blind faith in anyone.. Of Course corruption is possible in ANY department, but saying "I dont see how 20 officers can slip through the system" pretty much meant that the safe guards SUpposedly put into place like supervisors etc SHOULD have caught this behavior LONG ago! It is trolling when you take someone's words and use them like you WANT to use them! Iagain, I do NOT put blind faith in anyone, if you are wrong, you are wrong..PERIOD! I have the track record to prove that I stand behind that statement. I HAVE personally had to serve warrants on fellow officers when I worked in the Detective Division.. Ive seen officers charged with everything you can possibly think of, and did not feel bad about "them". Despite how you feel or think, not everyone is bad, as matter of fact, you will see the majority is good just like anything other profession, including farming. I know farmers that are crooks..

  • this is fdup Nov 16, 2007

    " Do not extort money by threats and violence, do not accuse anyone of what you know he did not do , and be content with your wages" these are the words of John the Baptist in Luke 3:14 they still hold true today for any police officer or person in a position of power

  • BUCKEYEnNC Nov 16, 2007

    The should be punished to the fullest extent that the law allows. Anytime you hold a position of the public's trust and you violate that trust you deserve no mercy!!!

    It's the bad cops in the world that ruin it for the good ones!!!!

    Lock them up!!!!!

  • yukonjohn3 Nov 16, 2007

    I know someone in the Robeson County Sheriffs office that is NOT crooked. I feel bad for that individual. I feel bad for the whole issue. These officers are underpaid, and poorly trained in many cases and see the people they arrest making out like bandits!! Vote for Ron Paul. He is for ending this stupid drug war, and as soon as drugs are legal, ALL THE CRIMINALITY will cause the price to PLUMMET!! We will probably have to fight a war with the Columbian drug lords, because they and some politicians are the ONLY ONES that HAVE to keep drugs ILLEGAL!! Think about it.

  • gregfuller Nov 16, 2007

    Well in case WRAL did not know Sherriff John Baker used to use deputys on duty and county owned buses to bus people to vote..This from a very reliable source within the department...all the people he bused in were black..He also used churches to help raise campaign finances which I believe is illegal.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Nov 16, 2007

    Six months? Stiff punishment? Hardly!

  • nbforrest Nov 16, 2007

    They are all guilty! If the so called honest ones did not know, they are too stupid to carry a gun!!

  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Nov 16, 2007

    Remember years ago when two Lumbee Indians took hostages in an attempt to bring attention to the corruption in the Robeson Sheriff's office? Guess they were telling the truth after all.

  • misslisa200723 Nov 16, 2007

    This story sickens me. I don't understand why we give these guys the higher power in the community but they're just as crooked as the criminals. Who are we supposed to trust? Isn't it enough that we are going through a lot as it is? This is not my community but it's still the same. People are out for themselves....why even make them wear a uniform anymore, just give them a gun and a pair of sweatpants then we will trust them even more.

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