FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - March 10, 2008
FORMER WASHINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA POLICE OFFICER
RECEIVES 21 MONTHS
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that STEVEN RAY HILSINGER, 33, of Washington, North Carolina, was sentenced for four federal civil rights violations in federal court in Raleigh today. HILSINGER was a former officer of the Washington, North Carolina Police Department. United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced HILSINGER to 21 months’ imprisonment, 1 year supervised release and restitution of $220.00 was imposed. Judge Dever previously accepted HILSINGER’S guilty pleas on December 3, 2007.
HILSINGER was sentenced for four misdemeanor violations that alleged while he was acting under color of law as a Washington Police Officer, he willfully deprived individuals of their right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. On November 13, 2005, and December 22, 2005, HILSINGER stopped Hispanic motorists for minor traffic violations. Instead of merely asking for identification, HILSINGER took their entire wallets, returning them to the drivers after having stolen the cash contained therein. On the first occasion, HILSINGER stole $60.00 and on the second occasion he stole $40.00. On September 8 and 18, 2006, HILSINGER again targeted a Hispanic driver and stole money. On these two occasions, the victim was an undercover police officer. On September 8, 2006, HILSINGER stole $220.00 in law enforcement funds, and on September 18, 2006, HILSINGER stole another $120.00 from the undercover officer. At that time he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“In a matter of minutes, one person can destroy the trust a community has in those that are there to protect and serve. It will take a long time to build that trust again. Hopefully the sentence imposed today will be some measure in working toward that goal,” said Mr. Holding.
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.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.