United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two former law enforcement officers, Frankie Dellinger and Wesley Clayton Golden, and their civilian co-conspirator, Mark Ray Hoyle, were sentenced to prison today for their role in a conspiracy to transport stolen goods and cash in Gaston County, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Greg McLeod, Director of the State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI) join U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. ordered Dellinger, 42, of Cherryville and a police officer who served 19 years in law enforcement with the Cherryville Police Department and the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, to serve 36 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Golden, 41, also of Cherryville and a Reserve Captain at the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and to one year of supervised release. Their civilian accomplice, Mark Ray Hoyle, 40, of Cherryville, was ordered to serve 21 months in prison and two years under court supervision.
In January 2013, the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and/or receive stolen property and conspiracy to extort under color of official right. Hoyle and Dellinger also pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy.
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, an undercover federal investigation revealed that beginning in August 2012 and on multiple occasions, Dellinger and Golden used their law enforcement credentials to provide “protection” to tractor trailers passing through Gaston County, containing what they defendants believed to be stolen merchandise and cash. Hoyle assisted in the conspiracy by representing himself to be a Deputy Sheriff at the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. File documents and facts presented at today’s sentencing hearings showed that the former officers and their co-conspirator believed the trailers were transporting “stolen” merchandise with a purported retail value of more than $158,000, as well as cash proceeds from the sale of the stolen goods in excess of $400,000 and agreed to safeguard the trailers in exchange for cash payments.
In November 2013, two former Cherryville police officers involved in a similar conspiracy arising from the same investigation received prison sentences. Casey Justin Crawford and David Paul Mauney, III, were sentenced to 33 and 18 months in prison, respectively. A sixth defendant, John Ashley Hendricks, was sentenced to two years of probation.
In handing down today’s sentences, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. noted that “corruption of the highest is the worst type of corruption.”
The defendants have been in federal custody since October 2012. They will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation is handled by the FBI and SBI. The prosecution was handled by Michael Savage, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.