Local News

7 Robeson Ex-Deputies Sentenced for Stealing TV Signals

Posted February 14, 2008

— Seven former deputies in the Robeson County Sheriff's Office have been sentenced on various charges related to satellite piracy – or stealing television signals – as a part of Operation Tarnished Badge, an ongoing federal investigation.

Gary Odum, 38, of Lumberton, got the longest jail term. He was convicted of conspiracy to misapply sheriff’s office funds and satellite piracy was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and three years supervised release after that and ordered pay back $31,660.

Ricky Britt, 42, of Fairmont, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy and sentenced to six months divided between a halfway house and home confinement, then three years' supervised release. he was ordered to pay back $4,680 and complete 150 hours of community service.

Herman Madden, 51, of Lumberton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy and received 10 months' home confinement and three years supervised release. He must pay back $37,740.

Randall Patterson, 52, of Lumberton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy. He drew eight months' in jail and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $14,880.

James Carter, 50, of Lumberton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy, received a sentence of six months imprisonment and two years supervised release, and was told he must pay back $2,500.

Robert Ivey, 48, of Lumberton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy. He received a six-month sentence divided between a halfway house and home confinement, two years supervised release and an order to pay restitution of $4,680.

Hobart Britt, 60, of Lumberton, was convicted of conspiracy to commit satellite piracy. His sentence was six months in home confinement, two years supervised release, restitution of $10,200 and 100 hours of community service.


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  • syracuseinwonderland Feb 14, 2008

    "Do the cable and dish networks own the satellites?" sportswa

    Dish and DirecTV own and lease satellites. Cable does not.

  • songdemon Feb 14, 2008

    this is actually easier than you may think. and yes, the fines are steep but imagine getting every PPV movie and sports and HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, NFL Sunday Ticket, etc, etc.....FREE for every day of the week. Those dollars add up so the fines are actually cheaper considering a movie is 3.99/day. Trust me on this one.

  • NCMOMof3 Feb 14, 2008

    way to Set The Example for law and order.

  • FragmentFour Feb 14, 2008

    So the administrator at NCCU gets reassigned for stealing money from the university, and these guys get prison sentences and steep fines for stealing TV signals. Sounds like there’s something rotten in Denmark!-- penny for your thoughts

    Denmark is just fine - but there may be a shortage of light bulbs on this board. The man at NCCU hasn't been indicted or taken to trial yet so there's no way to tell what he'll end up with.

  • nofear Feb 14, 2008

    they are going to still get free cable in jail. Its all about free.

  • Marc3939 Feb 14, 2008

    There's more to this story. Google "Operation Tarnished Badge" or look at;


    I would bet these 7 were part of a larger crime ring but the Feds had the best evidence concerning stealing satellite signals. Remember Al Capone was finally brought down on income tax evasion though we all know he was guilty of more.

  • Gnathostomata Feb 14, 2008

    "This seems very petty to me with the amount of crime and violence that county has."

    I had to stop and think about this statement; crime is any illegal activity, and it usually causes taxpayers money to prosecute the perpetrators in addition to the higher costs passed on to the honest people using the services...someone always gets the short stick from criminal activity, and it seems the criminal gets to say, "sorry" and move on after a short stint in custody without having to repay for damages. I applaud the judge that is making these guys pay with time and money. Personally, I haven't seen anything on television for a few years now that I would watch even for free! Maybe they should have taken up bowling or something...

  • leo-nc Feb 14, 2008

    It's called theft of services. Just because it's a "Radio Signal" doesn't mean it shouldn't be protected. Those companies invest millions of dollars in order to broadcast and sell that service. It's no different than building a car or providing some kind of tangible product. It's easy to tell on here those with a false sense of entitlement and those without.

  • Timbo Feb 14, 2008

    What garbage. If the signal is broadcast to all, then too bad if someone gets it.

  • daisy Feb 14, 2008

    From what I remember about this when I lived down there, they were running a side business where they would take the satellite cards and fix them so people could get free satellite. Back then, I was offered $200 from someone who wanted my old satellite card so they could take it to have it "fixed."