News and Press Releases

GEORGE E. B. HOLDING

CONTACT: 919/856-4530

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - May 3, 2007

ROBESON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY
PLEADS GUILTY TO RICO VIOLATIONS

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that ROGER HUGH TAYLOR, 39, of Lumberton, North Carolina pled guilty in federal court before U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. TAYLOR was charged in a one-count Criminal Information with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The investigation showed that, from 1996 to 2004 TAYLOR conspired with other current and former deputies of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the affairs of the Sheriff’s Office through a pattern of racketeering activity. Specifically, TAYLOR conspired with other members of the department to misappropriate several thousands of dollars of funds that were provided to the Sheriff’s Office through the Federal Equitable Sharing Program. The investigation has also revealed that TAYLOR conspired with other current and former members of the Sheriff’s Office to commit satellite piracy. TAYLOR and his co-conspirators used illegally reprogrammed satellite cards to receive unlimited programming from DirecTV. The use of these illegally reprogrammed cards by TAYLOR and his co-conspirators resulted in thousands of dollars in loss to DirecTV.

All of the offenses described above were committed while TAYLOR was employed as a deputy with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, TAYLOR faces a maximum sentences of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release and a $100 special assessment. As a part of his plea agreement, TAYLOR agreed to waive his right to indictment by a federal grand jury and to assist investigators. TAYLOR’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 the convictions of 15 from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office deputies 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.

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