Three Former Robeson Deputies Indicted On Multiple Charges
Posted June 9, 2006 9:55 a.m. EDT
LUMBERTON, N.C. — After a 3½ year investigation, "Operation Tarnished Badge" yielded arrests Friday. State and federal investigators say three former Robeson County deputies burned down homes, stole drug money, and paid informants -- all while on the clock.
Roger Taylor, CT Strickland, and Steve Lovin face a long list of accusations, including arson, assault, theft and money laundering. All three men worked in former Robeson County Sheriff Glenn Maynor's drug unit.
"Nothing jeopardizes our personal safety or undermines law enforcement more than illegal conduct of sworn law enforcement officers," said U.S. Attorney Frank Whitney.
Whitney joined the state attorney general, State Bureau of Investigation officials, the local district attorney, and agents from the Internal Revenue Service in announcing the indictment and arrests. Each man now faces charges that could land them a life sentence behind bars
Over several years, the men are accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in money and drugs from alleged dealers they had stopped on Interstate 95. Those seizures are supposed to be federal property.
According to court documents, the former officers burned homes of enemies to create of climate of fear. Also, they are charged with paying off informants with pounds of drugs.
"This will impact us all across the state," said said SBI Director Robin Pendergaft.
In addition to the embarrassment to fellow law enforcement, the charges have jeopardized the cases of drug suspects the deputies arrested.
"We have probably dismissed 200 or 300 cases," said District Attorney Johnson Britt.
As for the Robeson County Sheriff's Office, the troubled officers are gone, but those left now have the burden of rebuilding lost trust.
Current Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey released a statement Friday, stating that he's cooperated fully with investigators. Whitney said more arrests could be coming as the investigation continues.