CHERRYVILLE, N.C. -- Neighbors say Cherryville needs to scrap its police department and start over from scratch now that officers are accused of escorting criminals through town with stolen goods in exchange for cash.
Cherryville officers Frankie Dellinger, Casey Crawford and David Mauney were arrested in a federal raid Wednesday, as well as Gaston County Reserve Deputy Wesley Golden.
Prosecutors allege the men provided protection for people moving stolen property, took bribes and extorted more than $750,000.
Neighbors say the arrests broke their trust and people who are supposed to protect and serve made their town less safe.
Reports say the Gaston County District Attorney plans to drop charges in pending cases that rely upon the testimony of the arrested officers.
"They can't go put their hand on the Bible and swear to anything now. What can they do? Every thief, every person that's been caught in this town, how are you going to believe them now," said neighbor Johnny Johnson. "Start over, clean house."
"Greed gets to everybody, I guess," said neighbor Dick Blackwelder. "I feel for their families."
George Absher doesn't. He says he is Frankie Dellinger's cousin by marriage and does not support him after the arrest because he says alleged crooked cops sent a message to criminals.
"You can get away with it," Absher said.
Two of the accused officers are due in federal court Friday morning.