Pubdate: Fri, 4 Jun 2010
Source: Jacksonville Daily News (NC)
Copyright: 2010 Jacksonville Daily News
Author: Jannette Pippin
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


GREENVILLE - Another plea has been entered in a case involving the
embezzlement of drug investigation funds by former members of the
Carteret County Sheriff's Office.

Thomas "Mark" Farlow, a former narcotics detective with the sheriff's
office, pleaded guilty in federal court this week to count six of the
indictment, misprision of a felony, according to Robin Zier,
spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The offense indicates Farlow knew about the embezzlement activities
but did not report it.

Sentencing for Farlow is scheduled for the Sept 7 term of U.S.
District Court in Greenville. The offense carries a penalty of up to
three years in prison followed by up to a year of supervised release
and a fine of up to $250,000. Former deputies Frank Galizia and Boyce
Floyd Jr. were also scheduled for arraignment Tuesday but each
requested and was granted a continuance, Zier said. Floyd's
arraignment has been moved to the July 6 term and Galizia was granted
a continuance until the August 2 term.

Farlow is the third to enter a plea since federal charges were filed
against former Sheriff Ralph Thomas Jr. and four deputies who worked
under him. The charges stem from a nearly four-year investigation into
the misuse and embezzlement of funds used by the sheriff's office for
drug investigations. Thomas and former deputy Chris Cozart entered
guilty pleas last month as part of plea agreements in the case.

Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit an offense against the
United States. Cozart pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony. They
have not yet been sentenced.

Thomas served as sheriff from 1986 to 2006, when he chose not to seek
re-election. Galizia and Boyd made bids for the sheriff's seat but
lost. Current Sheriff Asa Buck, a former deputy seeking election to a
second term, made a public statement in response to the charges in
April and said he found problems in the accounting of drug funds
shortly after he took office and reported his concerns to the district
attorney's office, prompting the investigation.

The investigation was initially handled by the State Bureau of
Investigation, which was then joined by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service
and the U.S. Attorney's Office. 
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