Pubdate: Sat, 09 Oct 2004
Source: Sanford Herald, The (NC)
Copyright: The Sanford Herald 2004
Author: Katherine Mcdonald, Herald Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


SANFORD - James Ed Gregory, the former Sanford Police
Department officer charged Wednesday with stealing marijuana from the
department's evidence room, faces more charges from the Harnett County
Sheriff's Department.

Gregory was originally charged by the Sanford police with felony
larceny for the alleged theft of two pounds of marijuana, valued at
$2,000. According to Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins, Gregory
will be charged by his department with one count of selling and
delivering marijuana and one count of possession with intent to sell.
Both charges are felonies.

Rollins said that Gregory's arrest grew out of a tip provided to the
Harnett County Drug Task Force. The investigation, which took two
months, was a collaborative effort of the sheriff's department, the
Sanford Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation.

"Like any profession, when one of your own crosses the line, some look
at it as a black mark against you. But we look at it as, we pursued
it," Rollins said. "(Sanford Police Chief Ronnie) Yarborough's got a
fine department and this is just one bad apple. They've cleaned that
bad apple out now."

The theft of the drug is alleged to have occurred on March 1, when
Gregory was a member of the Sanford-Lee County Drug Unit. Yarborough
said that the marijuana was no longer needed as evidence in a case and
was going to be destroyed.

Gregory, 37, joined the police department in March 1990 as a full-time
officer. In March 2000, he joined the Lee County Probation Department.
He remained on reserve status with the police, working with the
city-county drug unit.

In August, he returned to full-time status with the police department
as a uniformed officer. On Wednesday, the day of his arrest, Capt.
Kevin Gray of the department's internal affairs division, told The
Herald that Gregory was no longer with the department. Gray declined
to say whether Gregory had been fired or resigned, based on personnel
confidentiality rules.
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