James Connolly used to be a Southport police officer. A year ago, he arrested Arlanda Lee McDuffie after he found him in possession of a gram of cocaine. When it came time to provide the evidence, Connolly couldn't do it. "I apologize for the actions of one officer, and that he disgraced his badge, and his honor,” said J.V. Dove of the Southport Police Department. Connolly reportedly sent the cocaine to be tested at the SBI lab, along with reports, but the SBI has no record of the drugs being tested there. On top of that, Connolly failed to show up at McDuffie's superior court hearing and the judge had no choice but to dismiss his case, along with four to five other felony cases. Brunswick County Assist. District Attorney Chris Thomas could not go on camera due to the pending investigation, but did say, McDuffie could have faced ten to twelve years in prison, for habitual felony charges. McDuffie was convicted of second-degree murder in the past twenty years, not to mention other charges within North Carolina as well. Southport Chief of Police J.V. Dove said Connolly's actions have disgraced their force. "I hope that his actions will not pale the honor and integrity and fidelity of the rest of the officers of this department." Connolly was found guilty of contempt of court, and sentenced to 30 days in jail plus a $500 fine. The case is still under the investigation and Connolly could be found guilty of other charges.
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