FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, November 27, 2006
FORMER ROBESON COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that GARY WARREN ODUM, age 37, of Lumberton, North Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Raleigh on November 27, 2006, before U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. ODUM pled guilty to a two-count Criminal Information. Count One charged a conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and Count Two charged a conspiracy to defraud, use, produce, traffic in, have control or custody of, or possess a telecommunications instrument that has been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(7).
The investigation showed that, as to Count One, on multiple occasions ODUM, along with other officers of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, corruptly provided a former local, elected official from Robeson County with private services while on duty. ODUM was instructed by his supervisors to record the hours worked for the private benefit of the public official as if he had performed his work as a law enforcement officer. The value of those services corruptly rendered exceeded $5,000.
As to Count Two, the investigation showed that ODUM, along with other officers of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, conspired to, and did, own and operate telecommunications equipment modified to obtain unauthorized service, illegally programmed satellite cards to obtain unauthorized service, and used and sold satellite cards which were illegally modified to obtain unauthorized service.
Both offenses were committed while ODUM was employed as a deputy with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
ODUM faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, two years supervised release, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a $100 special assessment on each count of the Information. As part of his plea agreement today, ODUM agreed to waive indictment by a federal grand jury and to assist investigators. The 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 part of the Operation Tarnished Badge investigation in Robeson County, which is ongoing. Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the United States Secret Service, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Bradsher, Wes Camden and Eric Evenson are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.