What started as a case of one sheriff's deputy allegedly taking a weapon and a powdery substance from the department morphed in to a high level investigation that has now netted that county's sheriff himself as well as several other deputies.
Apparently, one deputy is accused of taking a substance, which seems to have been either illegal drugs or something that looked an awful lot like illegal drugs. The deputy also allegedly stole a handgun that belonged to the State of North Carolina. Officials apparently concluded the deputy did not have permission to have the weapon even though he is an officer.
The officer's actions came to light last month, and they apparently prompted an investigation by State Bureau of Investigation, which, among other duties, would oversee a criminal matter when local law enforcement officers are suspects.
The deputies have all been charged with "obtaining property by false pretense," and the sheriff also faces charges of "failure to discharge duties" and obstruction of justice. Since that time, the sheriff has been removed from office, and the deputies involved have all been suspended from their jobs, even though their cases have not gone to trial yet.
Although they aren't violent in nature, white-collar crimes and crimes involving allegations of public corruption are very serious and, as in this case, could mean a person who obviously had a track record of being an outstanding citizen winds up behind bars with a career and reputation. These deputies will likely want to consider getting the help of a criminal law attorney when preparing their defenses.
Source: CBS North Carolina, "NC Sheriff and 3 deputies arrested after SBI investigation," Jan. 22, 2018.