FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday - April 20, 2004
NEW BERN - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that CRAIG IRA CLAPP was sentenced in federal court in New Bern on Tuesday, April 20, 2004, for extorting money from an individual involved in drug trafficking. U. S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan imposed a sentence of 70 months imprisonment and a supervised release term of three years.
CLAPP, 31, of Enfield, N. C., was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Greenville on September 10, 2003. The five-count indictment charged him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine; two counts of extortion of money induced under color of official right; and two counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office, CLAPP pled guilty to one count of extortion on December 2, 2003. The remaining counts of the indictment were dismissed at sentencing.
CLAPP was the Chief of Police of the Seaboard Police Department at the time of his indictment and arrest. According to the indictment and evidence presented in court, CLAPP extorted cash payments (under color of official right) on numerous occasions from Timothy Thomas Peterson, a/k/a "Pork Chop," a drug trafficker in the Halifax County area, and provided him with "protection" from identification, apprehension, and arrest by legitimate law enforcement agencies, and ensured that the dealer's cocaine trafficking could continue.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in "Operation High Resolve." Participating agencies were the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U. S. Attorney Eric Evenson prosecuted the case for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.