FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Thirteen Current and Former Law Enforcement Officers and Two Others Indicted for their Alleged Participation in a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
Thirteen current and former law enforcement officers and two other individuals have been indicted and arrested for allegedly protecting narcotics shipments and cash proceeds during transit along the east coast for what they believed was a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was actually an undercover operation by the FBI.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte, North Carolina, Division made the announcement.
“Corruption in local government – especially involving law enforcement – threatens the social compact that binds our communities together,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “When the officer with a gun and a badge is no different from the trafficker peddling drugs in the street, we all suffer. That is why the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners in North Carolina and throughout the country are determined to root out corruption, wherever and in whatever form it may be found.”
“The actions by these individuals are particularly troubling due to their current and past affiliation with law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Walker. “Their alleged conduct was reprehensible and my office will not tolerate this kind of corruption in our district. I am grateful for the outstanding work of the FBI Special Agents who investigated this case.”
“They vowed to protect and serve, but instead these deputies and correctional officers sold their badges and used their law enforcement positions to line their own pockets,” said Special Agent in Charge Strong. “Public corruption at any level is the number one criminal priority of the FBI and we will work aggressively to protect the public trust.”
All 15 defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances and conspiring to use and carry firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking offenses. Other charges against certain defendants include attempted extortion, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering, federal programs bribery and use and carry of firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division, Raleigh Resident Agency and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, with assistance from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Menaka Kalaskar of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian S. Meyers of the Eastern District of North Carolina.