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  • bad boys

    Some interesting developments from my neck of the woods...and Hege was supposed to speak at a DARE graduation today...jeez.

    4 officers arrested in drug probe

    12-13-01

    By CHERIS HODGES, Staff Writer
    News & Record

    LEXINGTON -- Three Davidson County sheriff's deputies, an Archdale police officer, the son of a Davidson County commissioner and another man were arrested by the FBI Wednesday and charged with trafficking drugs.


    William Rankin

    Douglas Westmoreland

    David Scott Woodall


    All photos courtesy of Davidson County





    The charges are the result of an eight-month investigation by the federal and state bureaus of investigation.

    An indictment returned by a federal grand jury Friday charges that the men conspired in the past year to distribute 5 kilograms of cocaine, more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, anabolic steroids and Ecstasy. The indictment, which charges each with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, was sealed until all the defendants were arrested.

    Davidson County Sheriff Gerald Hege -- who through television and radio shows, his Blue Line Foundation and even his own barbecue sauce has made a national reputation as the "toughest sheriff in America" -- said the deputies arrested were the top men in his vice and narcotics unit. He said they worked primarily on the bigger cases, such as a drug sweep in June that shut down a Lexington operation making $72,000 a week in cocaine sales. He called their work outstanding.

    Hege called a news conference Wednesday at the sheriff's office to announce the arrests shortly before he went to speak with local students as part of a drug-abuse awareness program. He said this is the first time officers in his department have been arrested.

    "You hope and pray this never happens to you," Hege said. "This is a tremendous disappointment."

    The officers were fired from the department, and Hege said even if they are cleared of the charges, he would not want them back.

    "I have no pity for these officers," he said. "I feel for their families."

    Lt. David Scott Woodall, 34; Lt. William Monroe Rankin, 32; and Sgt. Douglas Edward Westmoreland, 49; were arrested at the High Point National Guardarmory at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, said Lynne Klauer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Greensboro. Hege and the FBI apparently arranged for the arrests to be made there. Woodall has been with the department since 1991, Westmoreland since 1994 and Rankin since 1997, Hege said.

    Archdale police Sgt. Christopher James Shetley, 35, who has been with the department since 1995, was arrested at the police department.

    Wyatt Nathan Kepley, 26, son of Davidson County Commissioner Billy Joe Kepley, was arrested at his home in Lexington. Marco Aurelio Acosta Soza also was arrested Tuesday night at his home in Lexington.

    Klauer would not say if the investigation is ongoing. She said, however, "When you have a conspiracy, there is a chance that there may be added charges."

    Neither the Davidson County Sheriff's Office nor the Archdale Police Department was involved in the investigation.

    If convicted, the defendants could face from 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.

    The six men were in the custody of U.S. marshals at the Guilford County jail early Wednesday, Klauer said. No bond has been set.

    They appeared before a federal judge in Greensboro Wednesday. Klauer said Soza will be in court again next week for a bond hearing. Bond hearings have not been set for the other men.

    Billy Joe Kepley said he did not know his son had been arrested until he began receiving calls from the media.

    "I don't know anything. I didn't know anything about this until reporters started calling this morning. I still don't know anything," Kepley said. "He has not contacted us. He does not live here and has not lived here for a number of years. He lives somewhere down in south Davidson County. The rest of my kids live right around here. I see him every once in a while if he comes to church occasionally."

    Archdale police Chief Gary Lewallen said Shetley, who spent some time in investigations at the department, was good at his job.

    "It is a shock," he said.

    Shetley resigned from the department Wednesday, Lewallen said.

  • #2
    Moving this to various topics

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