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Former deputy gets 34 years in jail; threatens prosecutors, spits

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FAYETTEVILLE (AP) -- A former Robeson County sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for posing as an on-duty officer and robbing drug dealers. In a heated sentencing hearing Thursday, Vincent Sinclair accused two assistant U.S. attorneys of lying and told the prosecutors they were "going to get it." U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle called Sinclair's behavior outrageous and an insult to the court. Boyle sentenced the 45-year-old to the maximum sentence under the legal guidelines. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Sinclair later spit on a State Bureau of Investigation agent while being led out of court. Sinclair is among 22 former Robeson County law enforcement officers who have pleaded guilty or been convicted in a five-year investigation called Operation Tarnished Badge. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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