FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - March 17, 2008
MORE ROBESON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES SENTENCED
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced two more former Robeson County Sheriff’s Deputies. BILLY WAYNE STRICKLAND, 41, of Lumberton, North Carolina, and JAMES OWEN HUNT, 41, of Ladson, South Carolina. STRICKLAND received 30 days’ imprisonment with five months home confinement with electronic monitoring, and had restitution of $1,560.00 imposed. HUNT was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, 3 years supervised release following his term of imprisonment and had restitution of $150,000.00 imposed.
STRICKLAND was sentenced upon his February 12, 2007, guilty plea to a one-count criminal information that charged him with conspiring with others to control a telecommunications instrument that had been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(7). HUNT pled guilty July 26, 2006 to a one-count criminal information that charged him with conspiring with others to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1).
Mr. Holding stated, “Hopefully, as each of these former deputies are sentenced for their crimes, it will help to restore faith in our legal system. These sentences will let the community know that we will not tolerate crime, especially within the ranks of those that have been sworn to uphold that very legal system.”
This is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF) investigation entitled Operation Tarnish Badge. The investigation centered around public corruption with the in the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. To date 22 defendants have pleaded guilty to various federal charges ranging from drug conspiracy, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government, and conspiracy to commit satellite piracy charges.
The law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Bradsher served as prosecutor 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.