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Posted: 6:10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
By Tina Terry
CHERRYVILLE, N.C. —
Gaston County's district attorney has thrown out the final case tarnished by the corruption in the Cherryville Police Department. Three of those indicted on federal charges of conspiracy were once Cherryville police officers. District Attorney Locke Bell said he's had to throw out about 61of their criminal cases because the officers would have been required to testify. "I hate to dismiss a case where I believe somebody's guilty. On the other hand, I would never call a witness that I think is dishonest," Bell said. Bell said most of the cases had to do with speeding, drunk driving or drug charges. He threw out the final case Thursday. The former chief of the department, who retired shortly after the indictment, said that it pains him to hear about the fallout. "It's sad that these guys did what they did and then you got other criminals now that get to walk because of their actions," said Woody Burgess, the former Cherryville police chief. Burgess, who was criticized in a federal affidavit for systematically covering up one of the officer's illegal activity, said he knew nothing about their crimes. "I'm a police officer. I arrest people for that. I don't cover anything, I would never cover anything up," Burgess said.
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