Local News

Ex-Robeson deputy will get new sentence for money laundering plea

Posted January 22, 2010 3:35 p.m. EST

— An appeals court on Thursday agreed that the sentence of a former Robeson County sheriff’s deputy should be reconsidered.

Charles Thomas Strickland pleaded guilty in February 2007 to conspiring to commit money laundering and was sentenced to seven years in prison. His co-conspirator, Steven Lovin, is serving 12 years in prison.

Both men also got three years of probation following their prison terms.

Strickland and Lovin, along with a third ex-deputy, Roger Taylor, were the first to be charged in Operation Tarnished Badge, a federal and state corruption investigation.

The three ex-deputies were accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars and drugs from alleged dealers they stopped along Interstate 95. In all, 32 employees of the sheriff’s office were convicted of offenses ranging from money laundering and theft to robbery, arson and assault.

Strickland’s attorneys argued that his sentence was much longer than federal guidelines suggest, and the judge in the case did not sufficiently explain why that was. His attorneys asked that another judge consider Strickland’s sentence.

The appeals court vacated Strickland’s sentence until it could be reconsidered.