Former Sheriff Released From Federal Prison

A former eastern Carolina sheriff was released from federal prison Wednesday.

Former Carteret county Sheriff Ralph Thomas pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States. Federal prosecutors say Thomas would keep a portion of money given to the Sheriffs Office from the county commissioners for himself, before using the remainder of the money for undercover drug buys.

Four other former deputies were indicted in the scheme.

A Bureau of Prison spokeswoman told WITN News that Thomas was released this morning from the federal prison in McCreary, Kentucky.

McCreary is a high security facility, with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp, located approximately 88 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee,

Thomas now faces three years of probation.

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