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Former police officer gets 37-month sentence

Former Fort Deposit, police officer Carlos Tyson Bennett, 37, was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison and two years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller.

Bennett was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

Bennett, a former Butler County Sheriff’s deputy and Greenville police officer, was sentenced for stealing money from motorists during traffic stops, with another former Fort Deposit police officer, Jessie Alan Fuller, on Interstate 65 in 2009.

Bennett pleaded guilty on Aug. 29, 2012, to one count of conspiracy against rights and four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. During his plea, Bennett admitted that he and Fuller pulled over vehicles under the guise of legitimate law enforcement activity and stole cash from drivers and passengers. Bennett acknowledged that he and Fuller worked together, cooperating with each other, and typically sharing the stolen money.

In May and June 2009, Bennett committed four specific thefts, taking between $100 and $200 per victim.

Bennett further acknowledged that he and Fuller tried to cover up their crimes when authorities began to investigate.

Fuller previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. He was sentenced to 37 months in prison on Aug. 28, 2012.

“Police officers are here to protect public, not exploit the public,” said U.S. Attorney

George L. Beck, Jr. “When law enforcement officers take advantage of people they are supposed to be serving, they must be punished. This case shows that my office will continue to do everything under law to protect public from criminals, even when the criminal is a law enforcement officer.”

The case was investigated by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation; the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

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