When law enforcement officers are involved in criminal activity, it can affect the public's view of those who weren't involved. In North Carolina, 13 current and former officers have been charged with drug conspiracy.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation created a sting operation. The defendants in the case thought the operation was for a large-scale heroin and cocaine trafficking operation. Instead, it was a sting operation used to gather evidence on the defendants.
Two of the defendants were corrections officers in Virginia. They worked at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, which is the only privatized prison in Virginia. Both have since been suspended without pay.
According to prosecutors, the defendants were part of a drug conspiracy that used the Interstate 95 corridor to transport drugs. However, authorities said that the drugs were fake and there were no narcotics that actually made it to the street.
Besides the two correctional officers from Virginia, the defendants include:
-- Five deputies with North Carolina's Northampton County Sheriff's Office
-- One dispatcher with North Carolina's Northampton County Sheriff's Office
-- Two former deputies with North Carolina's Northampton County Sheriff's Office
-- Four correctional officers with the Department of Public Safety in North Carolina
-- One police officer with North Carolina's Windsor City Police Department
-- One civilian from Raleigh, North Carolina
Each defendant is facing charges for conspiring to use and carry firearms in drug trafficking and conspiring to distribute controlled substances. However, several others are also facing additional charges such as bribery and attempted extortion.
It's important for those facing charges from a massive sting operation to retain legal representation as soon as possible. This will allow the attorney to work quickly with the hope of mitigating possible penalties.
Source: ABC 13 News Now, "13 law enforcement officers charged with drug conspiracy in NC," May. 01, 2015