Pierce County deputy accused of drug trafficking
Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Strickland, 55, was arrested Thursday on federal charges for his role in the trafficking of methamphetamine.
Strickland had his initial appearance Friday in federal court in Brunswick before United States Magistrate Judge James E. Graham, where he was ordered detained without a bond.
According to court documents, Strickland allegedly agreed to act as “security” for individuals he believed were dealing meth, by acting as the lookout. Strickland’s drug activities allegedly occurred while he was in uniform and while he was driving his police vehicle. When Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett received information about Strickland’s apparent criminal activities, he immediately requested federal law enforcement assistance.
"This is a situation where there are no winners," said Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett. "This gives the office of the sheriff a black eye and erodes the confidence of the public in law enforcement. As sheriff, I will not tolerate this type of conduct. I want to reassure the public that we will police ourselves as well as the general public."
"Police corruption leaves a permanent stain on the good work of our law enforcement community," said U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver. "Make no mistake that defendants who violate the trust of this community, law enforcement or otherwise, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
If convicted, Strickland could be sentenced to prison for up to 40 years and a fine up to $5 million.
“This defendant took an oath to uphold the law and protect the citizens of Pierce County,” said ATF Special Agent Christopher Shaefer. “Instead, he is alleged to have betrayed the community he swore to protect. Corrupt officers unfortunately tarnish the badge worn proudly by the committed men and women of law enforcement. The success of this investigation would not have been possible without the dynamic level of law enforcement cooperation.”
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