A former Cherryville police officer has become the final person accused in a federal investigation to plead guilty.
Frankie Dellinger, 40, of Cherryville entered a guilty plea Thursday to:
Five other individuals have already pled guilty in the case, admitting to working with Dellinger and undercover federal agents posing as criminals to both transport stolen goods through the area and retain some of the proceeds from their sale.
At the time of the incidents, Wesley Clayton Golden, 39, was a reserve officer with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, Casey Justin Crawford, 32, and David Paul Mauney III, 23, also served as officers with the Cherryville Police Department, while Mark Ray Hoyle, 39, and John Ashley Hendricks, 47, were Cherryville residents who were not officers.
Each of the five men also faces decades in prison and steep fines, federal officials said.
In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opted to commence an investigation and pose as criminals after the agency had become suspcious about Dellinger’s alleged criminal involvement in the area. The FBI arrested the men in October and raided the local police department for evidence.
Federal documents reveal Dellinger also stole numerous items from local homes but that then Police Chief Woodrow Burgess didn’t file charges against the officer; he simply told him to return the items, according to various local news media outlets.
Shortly after the defendants were arrested, Burgess and Sgt. Mike Allred were suspended from the agency. However, Burgess later resigned, and Sgt. Cam Jenks was named to the chief position.
All the defendants are awaiting sentencing at this time.