Onslow County Sheriff’s Department charged Robert Sharpe with embezzlement and misdemeanor larceny on Friday. Sharpe is accused of taking investigative files, law enforcement reports and other written and electronic information related to the Laurean case.
At a press conference yesterday, District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Sharpe attempted to sell copies of the documents to an undercover officer posing as a Newsweek reporter for an "astronomical" amount of money.
Onslow County Sheriff's Department, Captain Rick Sutherland became suspicious when reading comments about the Laurean case. The comments were posted on Daily News reporter Lindell Kay's blog and Sutherland realized the comments were from someone who had more detail than what he should have had.
An undercover officer, claiming to be a Newsweek reporter called Kay for possible sources of information about Laurean's sexual preferences.
With the source's permission, Kay provided a phone number, but did not provide the source's name or any other identifying information to the officer.
The Sheriff's Department asked Kay to reveal information about his sources, and he refused, citing North Carolina's "shield law".
Thursday, deputies intercepted Sharpe leaving the office with numerous paper and electronic files. Deputies later searched Sharpe's car, home, and computer.
It was emphasized there is no evidence any of the information contained in the files was released to any media outlet or that any documents were compromised.
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