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NC lawmen accused of running a protection racket


CHERRYVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The U.S. Attorney's office says three North Carolina lawmen and a former sheriff's deputy are facing corruption and bribery charges.

Federal prosecutors said Cherryville police officers Casey Justin Crawford, David Paul Mauney III and Frankie Dellinger were arrested Wednesday, along with former Gaston County Sheriff's Deputy Wesley Clayton Golden. It's believed they conspired to provide protection for tractor trailers transporting what's described as stolen goods and cash.

Authorities said the items included televisions, cars, and chain saws worth over $300,000. It's believed the men collected more than $300,000 in proceeds from the sale of the stolen items.

Two others also were arrested.

Golden was a deputy from 1994 until he left the department last February. Sheriff Alan Cloninger said Wednesday he was disappointed and saddened to hear of Golden's arrest.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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