The last three defendants in a Cherryville police scandal from 2012 were sentenced to prison today in federal court.
Frankie Dellinger, 42, Wesley Clayton Golden, 41, and Mark Ray Hoyle, 40, will each spend at least the next year and a half behind bars for their roles in transporting stolen goods and cash through the area multiple times in 2012, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in the western district of North Carolina.
Dellinger, who worked with the Cherryville Police Department and Gaston County Sheriff’s Office throughout his nearly 20-year career in law enforcement, received a three-year prison sentence in the case followed by supervised release for two years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Hoyle, a Cherryville resident and civilian accomplice who also claimed to be a Gaston County Sheriff’s deputy in the conspiracy, received 20 months prison time and two years of court supervision.
Lastly, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Conrad, Jr. sentenced Golden to 21 months in prison and one year of supervised release, federal officials said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) targeted Dellinger after learning he may have been involved in illegal activity.
Federal agents disguised themselves as criminals and worked alongside the seasoned cop and his co-conspirators to transport stolen property on tractor-trailers through Gaston County.
The trucks contained what the convicts believed was more than $400,000 in cash proceeds from the sale of goods along with nearly $160,000 in other stolen property, federal officials said.
Dellinger and his co-conspirators used their badges to protect the goods during transport and accepted cash bribes on certain occasions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Each of the three men pleaded guilty in January 2013 to conspiracy to transport and/or receive stolen property and conspiracy to extort under color of official right, according to the release.
Hoyle and Dellinger additionally pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy.
Three other individuals involved in a related area conspiracy were sentenced in November, federal officials said.
Cherryville patrol officers Casey Justin Crawford, 34, and David Paul Mauney, III, 25, received 33 and 18 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
John Ashley Hendricks, 49, a second civilian accomplice and Cherryville resident, received two years of probation in the case.
All defendants have been in federal custody since October 2012, when the FBI raided the local police department.
The FBI and State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) jointly conducted the investigation.
Michael Savage, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, served as lead prosecutor in the case.