Two longtime veterans with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office were arrested this morning and charged with extortion and conspiracy. They are accused of receiving payoffs of cash and other properties from area nightclub operators.
Lt. Stoney Ray Turnage, 47, and Investigator Roderick Berry, 43, were arrested when they came to work. A warrant was issued after a federal grand jury indicted the two, FBI Supervisory Agent Ed Reinhold announced today.
Their arrests come after an eight-month investigation by the FBI and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Details of the investigation and its findings will be released later today.
Sheriff Ronnie Strength said he had no sympathy for the two officers.
"I will never knowingly let illegal activities go on within this agency," he said. "I don't feel sorry for anyone in law enforcement who violates the law and is arrested.
"I feel sorry for the many law enforcement officers that are honest and dedicated to their profession who will receive an unwarranted black eye because of incidents like this."
Both officers will have an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate judge by Friday, the sheriff said. Both are being held at the Richmond County Jail.
Lt. Turnage has been with the agency for 25 years and Investigator Berry for 14 years.