FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY - May 30, 2008
FORMER ROBESON SHERIFF SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced former Robeson County Sheriff’s Deputy STEVEN RAY LOVIN, 38, of Lumberton, North Carolina, was sentenced today to 144 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Boyle imposed restitution in the amount of $150,000. Also, sentenced was former Robeson County Sheriff’s Deputy CHARLES THOMAS STRICKLAND, 41, also of Lumberton, North Carolina, to 84 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.
Sentenced yesterday was former Robeson County Deputy ROGER HUGH TAYLOR, 38, of Lumberton to 46 months’ imprisonment, three years supervised release and had restitution in the amount of $10,0000 imposed. These prosecutions are part of Operation Tarnished Badge.
On May 5, 2007, and May 18, 2007, TAYLOR and LOVIN, respectively, pled guilty for conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. LOVIN also pled guilty to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States (Theft of Federal Funds).
From 1996 to 2004 TAYLOR conspired with other Robeson County Sheriff’s Deputies to conduct the affairs of the Sheriff’s Office through a pattern of racketeering activity. Specifically, TAYLOR conspired with other department members to misappropriate several thousands of dollars of funds that were provided to the Sheriff’s Office through the Federal Equitable Sharing Program. Also, TAYLOR conspired with other Sheriff’s Office members to commit satellite piracy by using 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.
On February 1, 2007, STRICKLAND pled guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering. From 1996 to 2003, STRICKLAND conspired with other department members to misappropriate substantial funds that were provided to the Sheriff’s Office through the Federal Equitable Sharing Program.
Former Robeson County Sheriff GLENN ALLEN MAYNOR, 61, of Lumberton, North Carolina, sentencing hearing has been continued to an as yet undetermined date.
Mr. Holding stated, “The corruption in the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office was epidemic and reached to its highest levels of the department. These officers violated the public’s trust and tarnished the badge and the department they were sworn to serve. Today’s sentencing are a strong reminder that all public officials must maintain a high level of integrity. The public demands and should expect no less.”Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), Charles E. Hunter,said, “Public corruption touches everyone. These former law enforcement officers were motivated by greed, which caused them to abuse their authority in the worst way. These defendants are a disgrace to the honest law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day. IRS-CI is serious about making public officials accountable for their actions.”
“Although satellite TV piracy may seem a minor or insignificant violation of the law, in this particular case it served as a springboard, or gateway, into much more egregious violations of law and abuse of authority at the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. The illegal programming, sale, and exchange of satellite TV cards promoted an atmosphere wherein criminal behavior was tolerated, and created a code of silence within the department which discouraged sworn personnel from coming forward about other crimes for fear that they too would be exposed,” commented David L. Robey, Resident Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Wilmington Resident Office.
“Our SBI agents are working hard to root out public corruption and stop law enforcers who become law breakers.I commend our SBI agents for their work on this case,” said NC Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The investigative agencies involved in Operation Tarnished Badge are the United States Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, the United States Secret Service and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. These prosecutions are the culmination of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation that has pursued law enforcement corruption in Robeson County for a period of more than six years. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Bradsher and Eric Evenson handled 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.