by: Tina Terry Updated:CHERRYVILLE, N.C. —
Three men involved in a corruption scandal that rocked the town of Cherryville learned their punishment Wednesday.
A judge sentenced Frankie Dellinger to three years in prison, Wesley Golden was given a little less than two years and Mark Hoyle, the only civilian sentenced Wednesday, was given a little less than two years in prison.
All three men were emotional in the court and even told the judge they regret their actions.
Dellinger was a reserve police officer with the Cherryville Police Department when he was indicted on federal corruption charges in October 2012.
Five others were also indicted: Wesley Golden, a reserve deputy sheriff with the Gaston County Sheriff's Office; Mark Hoyle and John Hendricks, Cherryville citizens; and Casey Crawford and David Mauney, patrol officers with CPD.
After weeks of investigating by federal agents, the men were arrested and eventually plead guilty to taking bribes and conspiring to provide protection to trucks carrying stolen goods and cash through Gaston County.
"It's been embarrassing for the city of Cherryville. However, a few incidents and people does not define the city," said Police Chief Chad Hawkins, who recently took the top job.
He was at the sentencing and said he hopes this closes a bad chapter in the department's history. He wants to get back to protecting and serving.
"That is a very important process in gaining the community's trust," Hawkins said.
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