by: Jim Bradley Updated:
CHERRYVILLE, N.C. - Casey Crawford smiled and mouthed “thank you” to family members who came to support him in federal court Monday morning.
His attorney showed a judge dozens of letters vouching for his character.
“Members of the community who've known Casey,” said Rick Winiker, his attorney.
From Winiker Eyewitness News also learned something new -- that since his arrest last week as part of the group of Cherryville police officers charged with offering armed protection for stolen goods, Crawford is now providing information to FBI investigators.
“Mr. Crawford has cooperated from day one in this investigation. We'll continue to cooperate with the United States,” Winiker said.
In fact, prosecutor Mike Savage told a federal judge Monday that Crawford has confessed to misusing his position as a police officer and called him a ringleader who used assault weapons as part of the protection scheme.
In one of the deals, agents say Crawford was carrying an AR-15 rifle. And they said a TEC-9 was one of 20 weapons found in his home.
Despite all that, Crawford's friends have shown steady support for him.
“This is not like him. I don’t think everything's been brought to the table yet,” said Chris Beam, a friend of Crawford.