"Operation Tarnished Badge" Defendant Charged with Satellite Piracy
DOJ Seal
September 26, 2007
Eastern District of North Carolina

George E. B. Holding
Contact: 919/856-4530

"Operation Tarnished Badge" Defendant Charged with Satellite Piracy

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court on September 26, 2007, HOBERT F. BRITT, 60, of Lumberton, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.

BRITT was charged in a Criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on September 11, 2007, with conspiracy to commit satellite piracy. BRITT used illegally reprogrammed satellite cards to receive unlimited programming from DirecTV. The use of these illegally reprogrammed cards resulted in thousands of dollars in loss to DirecTV.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, BRITT faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 2 years supervised release and a $100 special assessment. As a part of his plea agreement, BRITT agreed to waive his right to indictment by a federal grand jury and to assist investigators. BRITT’s actual sentence will be determined by the Court using the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are advisory. Sentencing will be at a later date.

This case is a part of the Operation Tarnished Badge investigation of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. To date, Operation Tarnished Badge has resulted in 22 convictions to various federal criminal violations, including, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government, conspiracy to commit satellite piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnaping, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Operation Tarnished Badge is an ongoing investigation at this time.

The investigative agencies involved in Operation Tarnished Badge are the United States Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division; the United States Secret Service; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Bradsher and Wes Camden are handling the case for the United States Attorney's Office.