Local News

'Tarnished Badge' Probe Claims 3 More Robeson Deputies

Posted March 27, 2007 11:14 p.m. EDT

— Three more former deputies, including a commander, face charges as a result of the federal "Operation Tarnished Badge" investigation of the Robeson County sheriff’s office.

Lawrence Patterson, who had been chief of detectives under Sheriff Kenneth Sealey, was arrested. Patterson resigned last year.

U.S. attorneys from Raleigh charged Patterson on Friday with conspiring to pirate satellite TV signals. They also charged former patrol deputies Lester Floyd and Herman Madden, bringing the arrest total to 14.

Federal paperwork says the three used satellite TV cards for receivers that had been changed so they could receive programming without the satellite company being paid.

A plea hearing for the three men is set for Friday in Raleigh before U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle.

Operation Tarnished Badge began more than four years ago, and agents made it public last June. 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 in February that he has dismissed between 200 and 300 drug cases because they were tainted.