FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - October 27, 2005
RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney and Special Agent in Charge Kevin B. Kendrick of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the filing of a Criminal Complaint and the arrest of RONALD L. ROBERTS, Police Chief of Bethel, N. C., and JEROME E. COX, Police Lieutenant in Bethel, N. C., today in Greenville, N. C.
According to the Criminal Complaint, there is probable cause to believe that ROBERTS and COX did conspire to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack) and ROBERTS did unlawfully sell or otherwise dispose of a firearm to a person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the person was a convicted felon in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(d)(1).
United States Attorney Frank Whitney stated “one of the highest priorities of this office is the aggressive prosecution of corrupt public officials in order to ensure honest and reliable government for the citizens of this district. This prosecution is a sad, but important step in protecting the integrity of government in this state.”
Special Agent in Charge Kendrick stated that “any allegation of corruption by public officials will be aggressively pursued by the FBI.” SAC Kendrick was particularly appreciative of the assistance provided in this investigation by Sheriff Alan Jordan of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Mac Manning of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Department. AUSA John H. Bennett is prosecuting the case for the United States. A Criminal Complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are 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 yet been set.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.