North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation is being called in to see if Wilmington police officers committed crimes during a botched prostitution sting last year.
Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said Friday the SBI has opened a probe in hope that the independent investigation will restore confidence in Wilmington's police force.
Evangelous has said officers poorly ran an undercover operation targeting escort services acting as fronts for prostitution. Undercover officers invited escorts to an RV, where officials said they breached department guidelines for drinking alcohol and documenting cash expenditures, as well as other violations.
One of the women charged during the sting described drinking liquor with the officers before they offered her $14,000 for sex.