GEORGE E. B. HOLDING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - October 17, 2007
FORMER ROBESON COUNTY SHERIFF SENTENCED
TO 250 MONTHS IN PRISON
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced PATRICK FERGUSON, 36, of Red Springs, North Carolina, to 250 months imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and imposed a $200.00 special assessment. Ferguson, a former Roberson County Sheriff’s Deputy, had been convicted of conspiring with others to kidnap two individuals, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1201(c), and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1).
Mr. Holding said, in response to the Court’s decision, “Today we begin the process of sentencing those who breached the public’s trust in Robeson County. Operation Tarnished Badge was focused on rampant corruption within the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Those within that department sacrificed the good name of that office; compromised the reputation of good officers with that department and sidetracked us from the enforcement of the laws in that part of the state. Judge Boyle’s sentence should be a reminder to all in law enforcement that the oath you have taken is one that cannot be violated.”
On July 24, 2006, a Criminal Information was filed by the United States Attorney’s Office, charging FERGUSON with kidnaping and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. On August 21, 2006, FERGUSON entered a plea of guilty to the charges. 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 former Sheriff’s Deputies being convicted of 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, Michael James, 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.