GEORGE E. B. HOLDING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - July 12, 2007
SEVENTEENTH CONVICTED IN OPERATION TARNISHED BADGE
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court on July 10, 2007, JAMES CARTER, 49, of Lumberton, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.
CARTER was charged in a Criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on June 27, 2007, with conspiracy to commit satellite piracy. CARTER used illegally reprogrammed satellite cards to receive unlimited programming from DirecTV. The use of these illegally reprogrammed cards resulted in thousands of dollars in loss to DirecTV.
Pursuant to his plea agreement, CARTER faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 2 years supervised release and a $100 special assessment. As a part of his plea agreement, CARTER agreed to waive his right to indictment by a federal grand jury and to assist investigators. CARTER’s 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 a part of the Operation Tarnished Badge investigation of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. To date, Operation Tarnished Badge has resulted in 17 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 distribute 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 United States Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division; 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.