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Former Durham deputy sentenced for embezzlment

Posted June 7, 2011

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— A former Durham County deputy was sentenced Tuesday to 42 months in prison for stealing money used in undercover drug operations.

Derek O'Mary, who was a lieutenant with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, pleaded guilty in February to 25 counts of embezzlement involving $97,976 in county funds, authorities said. As part of a plea deal, charges of embezzlement, obstruction of justice and cocaine possession involving the alleged theft of drug evidence from the department were dismissed.

O'Mary will serve his sentence under special security as a former law enforcement officer, authorities said.

Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill fired O'Mary in April 2009, about two weeks after detectives in his department's Anti-Crime Narcotics Unit presented evidence that O'Mary wasn't properly managing the account used for undercover drug buys.

The State Bureau of Investigation was brought in to go through O'Mary's office and records for possible evidence. Authorities said the embezzlement occurred between July 2003 and March 2009.

The sheriff's office has since implemented more oversight and auditing to its cash-handling procedures, according to Hill.


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  • ladysfancy Jun 8, 2011

    money that can be traced. We are all human, and everyone makes mistakes, i think that this deputys biggest mistake was not administratively covering his backside which i can also understand, when you are in the heat of a bust, and your life is on the line, you arent thinking about paperwork. All i can say is i pray for his family, and hope they are able to put all this behind them one day.

  • ladysfancy Jun 8, 2011

    Justice, what is that, Our court systems have made it possible for this exact thing, thats why we have lawyers, to make plea bargains, thats why we pay them the big bucks, but it dosent necessarily mean that you are are guilty of the crime, Does it make a person less accountable if they were going 100 mi in a 55 and they hire a lawyer to reduce the charge in order for them to keep their licence, My question in regards to this is, first of all like another post, why did it take the county all this time to find money missing, also how can one deputy be empowered with so much control, without any higher official not being aware of what was going on in this department and not making him accountable for the money that was being used. so in my mind maybe there are other things that should have been considered, such as why would a deputy that comes in contact with millions of dollars on a drug bust and drugs that could easily be accessed without being traced, take the chance of stealing

  • beachboater Jun 8, 2011

    "Stole almost a hundred thou and only gets 42 months?

    Are our judges crazy???"

    I don't know about you, but I wouldn't go to jail for that amount of money. That averages to roughly 2,285 a month. I'd much rather work than be in jail.

  • bbrown07 Jun 8, 2011

    He will serve his time under special security,not in with general prisoners.

  • Journey985 Jun 8, 2011

    "I thought cops were infallible?" - From some of the comments on Golo from LEO supporters you would think that was the case, but as shown here today, NOT!! Love how they dismissed some really serious charges. Must be nice to have that thin blue line to help you out. John Q. public would have not gotten off so easy. I am ELATED that yet another DIRTY cop is off the streets! I hear Crabtree Valley Mall is looking for a few good men...he should be well qualified after his jail time is served!

  • boneymaroney13 Jun 7, 2011

    Unless you know someone.

  • mrsmyley Jun 7, 2011

    @spiritwoman, I didnt say let him go scott free, I said "Justice was served" Can you imagine being a previous law enforcement officer and going to prison for almost 4 years? He is going to have a ruff time!

    @Hater Darth vader, LEO's dont start off as "drug cops" you start on the street, serve papers, then work your way up.

  • ccs1920 Jun 7, 2011

    ProudBlackSingleMother/ Your comments about law enforcement have always been ngative. Why is that????

  • no contest Jun 7, 2011

    After prison he will then be qualified to run for political office in Durham.

  • Redleader2base Jun 7, 2011

    Spiritwoman, Did you really just compare a police officer stealing drug money to a Saint murdering a child? Really, Is that how your mind works? If you hear a fly buzzing around your head do you think fly swatter or 12 gauge?