Feds charge former NC sheriff with stealing money

RALEIGH, NC - RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged a former North Carolina sheriff and a deputy of stealing money set aside for drug investigations.

Authorities say former Carteret County Sheriff Ralph Thomas and deputy Christopher Cozart would keep a portion of the money set aside for covert drug operations for their personal use.

U.S. Attorney George Holding says the pair took more than $5,000, although court documents filed Monday do not describe where the money went.

Thomas was elected sheriff in 1986 and served for 20 years. Cozart served as a deputy sheriff from 2002 to 2007. Attorneys for the men did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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