Saga of N.C. police corruption ends

By Martha Quillin
The News and Observer

LUMBERTON, N.C. — One after another, 22 former members of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office have been hauled into federal court over the past six years to answer to charges that they abused their powers. As the last defendant -- the former sheriff himself -- awaits sentencing this week, the people he once served say they, too, have been punished as the case dragged on.

With each allegation, each guilty plea and each sentencing, the words "corruption" and "Robeson County" made the rounds again in newspapers and television broadcasts. Kidnapping. Money laundering. Racketeering. Distribution of cocaine. Theft of federal funds. Satellite TV piracy.

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