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Bail Denied For Two Former Robeson County Deputies

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Former Deputies Indicted
RALEIGH, N.C. — After years of slapping on the cuffs, Roger Taylor and C.T. Strickland wore them themselves Wednesday as they stood in a line of other suspected criminals leaving federal court. Prosecutors said the former Robeson County deputies, along with Steve Lovin, spent years stealing drugs and money from suspects.

According to the indictment, the men created a climate of fear through intimidation, assault, and arson. One of their alleged victims was Hubert Locklear, a convicted drug dealer now serving prison time. His family claims rogue cops nearly beat him to death in 1998.

"They was going on with them, working with them, had to be," said Locklear's former neighbor Joye Chavis.

Chavis remembers deputies regularly hanging around the well-known drug house.

"If they're selling drugs like that, why is a deputy in there and talking and then leave and they know what's going on?" he said.

Finally, Chavis said, the officers raided the home. Moments later, the house and barn burned to the ground. The deputies are now charged with arson.

In court, attorneys for Strickland and Taylor argued the men deserve pre-trial release because they are established in their communities. Dozens came to court to support them, including Donna Barden, Taylor's family friend.

"I couldn't believe it," said Barden. "I was in shock and I still don't believe it. I really don't."

After weighing the gravity of the accusations, the judge called the ex-officers a potential safety threat and sent them back to jail. He also postponed Lovin's case.