State News

Former Brunswick sheriff sentenced to 16 months

Posted October 6, 2008

— The former sheriff of Brunswick County must serve 16 months in prison and participate in a substance-abuse program for obstructing justice.

U.S. District Judge Earl Britt also sentenced former Sheriff Ronald Hewett on Monday to two years of probation and fined him $10,000.

Hewett was sentenced for obstructing an investigation into complaints from current and former deputies about his corruption and misconduct as a sheriff. Authorities said he had ordered on-duty deputies to perform manual labor at his house and to work on his political campaigns.

He was charged in May after a federal investigation that began in 2006. During the investigation, he told deputies either to assert their Fifth Amendment privilege or to be vague in their answers to a grand jury, authorities said.

Hewett also took away cruisers from deputies he thought were cooperating with the investigation and threatened to fire at least one deputy before he testified to the grand jury, authorities said.

He was suspended from office in March after serving as sheriff for 14 years. He resigned April 15.

He pleaded guilty in June, and the U.S. Attorney's Office asked Friday that he serve the maximum 12 to 18 months.

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  • ccs1920 Oct 6, 2008

    I worked for a sheriff in Wake County for over 20 years. If not for luck and intimination he would have been in the same trouble.

  • Blue steel Oct 6, 2008

    I would guess at least 50 percent of the state's Sheriffs do the same thing pertaining to forcing deputies to work on their campaign. Will anything ever happen to them? Nope.

  • illegals--GO HOME Oct 6, 2008

    He did mostly get the max on that particular charge as they can only give him 16-18 months. There are state charges still to come to be prosecuted, so he will get more time. He tried to lead his department by intimidation, such as some others still do, and it was his downfall (along with being so stupid as to show up at a crime scene drunk). The officers there got tired of his elitist system and started gathering evidence to support what they were saying and it worked!

    As a retired LEO, I am glad he is being punished as he has tarnished the badge that others strive to wear with honor and do not do wrong or stupid things. However, he is NOT representative of the many thousands and thousands of good, law abiding officers in this and the other 49 states!

  • malave27896 Oct 6, 2008

    That's all that they gave him was 16 months. He abused his authority as a officer of the law and he only got 16 months. He deserves much more then what he was given.He needs to pay Brunswick County tax payers alot of money ...no amount will be be enough.

  • no contest Oct 6, 2008

    See you later low life. Too bad it was not for a longer time.

  • sickofstupidpeople Oct 6, 2008

    There's a couple others in this state that need the same thing to happen to them.

  • BLK 007 Oct 6, 2008

    He should have gotten the max. we clearly need to send better messages, that the one's that are supposed to up hold the law, do so in a professional manner , If not , then find employment else where.