FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - December 12, 2007
SENTENCING OF ROBESON COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that KEVIN RUDOLPH MEARES, of Lumberton, North Carolina was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to 8 months imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release and ordered MEARES to pay a $100 special assessment and restitution to Robeson County in the amount of $29,033. On August 4, 2006, MEARES pleaded guilty to a one-count Criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The Court found that MEARES was responsible for stealing $29,033 in Federal Equitable Sharing funds which had been earmarked for combatting drug trafficking in Robeson County. The Court also found that MEARES had abused his position of trust. Having made those findings, and after giving MEARES credit for assisting law enforcement in its investigation of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, the Court handed down the sentence.
This case is a part of the Operation Tarnished Badge investigation of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. To date, Operation Tarnished Badge has resulted in 22 convictions to various federal criminal violations, including, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government, conspiracy to commit satellite piracy, conspiracy to commit kidnaping, conspiracy to commit cocaine and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Operation Tarnished Badge is an ongoing investigation at this time.
The investigative agencies involved in Operation Tarnished Badge are the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Secret Service and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Bradsher and Wes Camden are handling the case for the United States 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.