FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday - April 21, 2004
Raleigh - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today the indictment of LEON OXENDINE, 50, of Lumberton, N. C., on charges of witness tampering, making a false statement to a federal law enforcement agency, and making false statements to a federal grand jury. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Greenville on April 8, 2004.
OXENDINE, a Lieutenant in the Lumberton Police Department, was arrested on Wednesday, April 21, 2004, and had his initial appearance before U. S. Magistrate Judge William A. Webb in Raleigh. Judge Webb placed OXENDINE in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending a hearing to review his detention status, which is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 22, in Raleigh.
The seven-count indictment charges OXENDINE with tampering with a witness (maximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and $250,000 fine); making a false statement to the FBI (maximum penalty: five years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and $250,000 fine); and five counts of making false declarations before a federal grand jury (maximum penalty: five years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and $250,000 fine, per count).
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the N. C. State Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Secret Service. Assistant U. S. Attorney Eric Evenson is prosecuting the case for the government.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been scheduled.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.