FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
FORMER ROBESON COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF PLEAS GUILTY
RALEIGH - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that JOEY BRIAN SMITH, 35, of 4140 Nelson Way, Lumberton, North Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Elizabeth City on Thursday, August 31, 2006, before U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. SMITH pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses in violation of Title 21, United States Code, § 1956(h). SMITH is a former deputy of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department.
The investigation showed that from October 2000 through May 2003, SMITH misappropriated approximately $4,000 from the Federal Equitable Sharing funds provided to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Division.
SMITH could receive a maximum sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment, three years supervised release, a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the money laundering scheme and a $100 special assessment. As part of his plea agreement, SMITH agreed to waive Indictment by a federal grand jury. 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 Eric Evenson, Frank Bradsher and Wes Camden 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.