The Associated Press
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) - A former police officer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling cocaine and Ecstasy while he attended college.
Jae Mond Marcel Whidbee, 23, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Elizabeth City. Whidbee had served on the Elizabeth City police force five weeks when he was arrested Jan. 28 as part of a large federal investigation.
Whidbee had sold at least an ounce of cocaine in three separate deals set up by investigators while he was a criminal justice student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, DEA agent Phillip Kearney said during the sentencing.
Whidbee's arrest was part of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of a drug ring that sold at least 330 pounds of cocaine and 60,000 Ecstasy pills over about three years. The group also laundered $1.5 million, Kearney said, and operated in Wilmington, Greensboro, Morehead City and Myrtle Beach.
More than 20 people were arrested and seven have been convicted.
Whidbee started as a police officer on Dec. 22, four days after his indictment, which had been sealed.
Whidbee was fired the day he was arrested; he pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge March 30.
During his sentencing, Whidbee apologized, saying he wanted to obey the law and help people in the future.
U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle said he appreciated Whidbee's apology, but added that Whidbee could have been blackmailed or drawn back into drug dealing if somebody recognized him as a former dealer.