George E. B. Holding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 19, 2007
FORMER CHIEF OF POLICE OF BETHEL, N.C.
SENTENCED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF CRACK COCAINE
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that REGINALD LAVERNE ROBERTS, 42, of Winterville, North Carolina, was sentenced in federal court in Greenville on Monday, March 12, 2007. ROBERTS was the former chief of the Bethel, North Carolina Police Department. On December 4, 2006, ROBERTS pled guilty to distribution of more than 5 grams of crack cocaine. The defendant was charged in an indictment filed on November 9, 2005. The sentencing concluded an investigation that began in the summer of 2005. Senior U. S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced ROBERTS to 78 months in prison followed by a supervised release term of five years.
At the time of the offense in the fall of 2005, ROBERTS was Chief of the Bethel Police Department. According to information presented to the Court during his plea and sentencing hearings, on October 24, 2005, ROBERTS and former Bethel police department Lieutenant Jerome Cox met with an undercover operative employed by the FBI at an impound lot in Beaufort County, North Carolina. At the lot, ROBERTS and Cox broke into a truck and removed approximately 10.7 grams of crack cocaine and $2,000.00 in cash. ROBERTS then distributed the crack cocaine to the informant and kept the cash to be divided between himself and Cox. ROBERTS had previously sold two firearms to the informant, a felon. At the time of his arrest on October 27, 2005, ROBERTS had recorded “bait” money in his possession. ROBERTS has been held in custody since his arrest. Cox cooperated with the investigation and was sentenced in February, 2007 to 38 months in prison.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John H. Bennett of the Greenville branch office is handling the case for the Government.
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