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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Former Durham officer accused of dealing crack

Posted by on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 7:38 PM

A former Durham police officer and former UNC football standout has been indicted on federal drug charges, the Durham Police Department announced late Thursday.

Sherrod Peace, 35, is accused of dealing five grams of crack cocaine, and possessing a gun at the time of drug trafficking, according to the Durham police statement. According to the federal indictment, posted online by the ABC11 news channel, the gun was a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson. This is the same make and model carried by Durham police, according to an earlier public records (see graphic) request by the Indy.

Peace worked in the city's District One, composed largely of eastern Durham neighborhoods, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael wrote in an e-mail. He was with the force from 2003 to Dec. 31, 2009. City personnel records show Peace made about $50,000 a year with the department after a raise in August.

According to the statement,  Durham Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. received a complaint in early October 2009 that Peace was involved in illegal activities and started a criminal investigation with the help of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Durham police also conducted an internal investigation.

It is unclear from the statement how Peace was charged or whether he is accused of dealing drugs while on duty.

"We take any allegation of misconduct by our employees very seriously and thoroughly investigate all complaints," Lopez said in the prepared statement. "Law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect the community and we must be held to a high standard."

Peace was a football star at Northern High School in Durham and while he played at UNC, his cousin Jason Peace was also on the team. Peace also has a fraternal twin brother, Sherron Peace, who played football at Howard University, according to a UNC feature story from 1999.

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