FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 12, 2006
TWO FORMER ROBESON COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF PLEAS GUILTY
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that BILLY DEMETRIA HUNT, age 37, and PAUL HENRY PITTMAN, age 40, pled guilty in federal court in Raleigh today before U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. HUNT and PITTMAN both pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, § 371. HUNT and PITTMAN were both former deputies with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department at this time.
The investigation showed that on multiple occasions HUNT and PITTMAN, 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. HUNT and PITTMAN were instructed by their supervisors to record the hours worked for the private benefit of the former local, elected public official as if they had performed their work as law enforcement officers. As a result, both men were compensated by the county.
The value of those services corruptly rendered to the local, elected public official of Robeson County by HUNT and PITTMAN exceeded $5,000.
HUNT and PITTMAN could each receive a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, two years supervised release, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a $100 special assessment. As part of their plea agreements today, HUNT and PITTMAN 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 U. S. Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, 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.