Former North Carolina Police Officer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Participation in Drug Distribution Conspiracy
WASHINGTON - A former police officer with the Windsor, North Carolina Police Department was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for accepting bribe payments from a purported large-scale drug trafficking organization in exchange for protecting shipments of purported narcotics.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. of the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.
Antonio Tillmon, 33, of Windsor, North Carolina, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard. In addition to the term of prison imposed, Judge Howard ordered Tillmon to serve five years of supervised release. In May 2017, Tillmon was found guilty of drug, firearm, and bribery charges following a week-long jury trial.
According to trial evidence, Tillmon accepted $6,500 from undercover FBI agents posing as drug traffickers in return for transporting a total of 30 kilograms of heroin from North Carolina to Maryland on three separate occasions between August 2014 and April 2015. On each occasion, Tillman carried with him his Windsor Police Department badge and a firearm, and was prepared to use his badge and fake documentation to evade drug interdiction by legitimate law enforcement. The evidence at trial also showed that Tillmon was poised to participate in another drug run on a fourth occasion the day that he was arrested—and he had brought with him five firearms, including an assault rifle.
Fourteen other defendants, 12 of whom were law enforcement or correctional officers, were charged as a result of this investigation. Those defendants all pleaded guilty to various offenses and were sentenced in June 2017.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Division, Raleigh Resident Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Molly Gaston of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby W. Lathan of the Eastern District of North Carolina.