Law Enforcement Corruption: How the FBI Took Down a Dozen Crooked Cops, Jail Guards in Drug Smuggling Conspiracy

Something was rotten in the state of North Carolina. There were rumors of corruption in the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and whispers that Lann Tjuan Clanton, an ex-cop from a nearby police department, was selling drugs in the hardscrabble eastern half of the Tar Heel State.

So in April 2013, the FBI opened an undercover investigation that had agents posing as drug traffickers looking for law enforcement officers who could act as armed guards for people moving drugs and drug money up and down the East Coast. The bureau called the secret probe Operation Rockfish, a bottom-feeding fish for which the county is well known. By the end of the investigation, a dozen law enforcement officers would plead guilty to drug conspiracy and bribery raps, with long sentences handed down last week.


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