Local News

Former Durham deputy sentenced for embezzlment

Posted June 7, 2011 12:32 p.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2011 5:01 p.m. EDT

— A former Durham County deputy was sentenced Tuesday to 42 months in prison for stealing money used in undercover drug operations.

Derek O'Mary, who was a lieutenant with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, pleaded guilty in February to 25 counts of embezzlement involving $97,976 in county funds, authorities said. As part of a plea deal, charges of embezzlement, obstruction of justice and cocaine possession involving the alleged theft of drug evidence from the department were dismissed.

O'Mary will serve his sentence under special security as a former law enforcement officer, authorities said.

Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill fired O'Mary in April 2009, about two weeks after detectives in his department's Anti-Crime Narcotics Unit presented evidence that O'Mary wasn't properly managing the account used for undercover drug buys.

The State Bureau of Investigation was brought in to go through O'Mary's office and records for possible evidence. Authorities said the embezzlement occurred between July 2003 and March 2009.

The sheriff's office has since implemented more oversight and auditing to its cash-handling procedures, according to Hill.