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Sheriff's deputy suspended pending results of SBI probe

RALEIGH -- A Franklin County deputy who has had two stints with the sheriff's office remains on leave pending a probe by the State Bureau of Investigation.

The SBI confirmed last week that agents are investigating a case involving Brandon Ray.

Sheriff Kent Winstead said an agent with the Northeastern District of the SBI in Pitt County contacted his office about three or four weeks ago, informing him of the investigation.

Ray was placed on leave immediately, Winstead said.

Neither the SBI nor Winstead would reveal the nature of the investigation.

"It's their investigation," said Winstead, noting that the investigation surrounds an event that was alleged to have happened at least a year ago, maybe longer, in a county in the eastern part of the state.

"I told [the SBI] I wouldn't say anything about the case because I didn't want to be involved in any way to influence it," Winstead said.

According to county human resources staff, Ray has been with the sheriff's office twice, first on a part-time basis from Dec. 5, 2012 until Feb. 21, 2013 before resigning.

He then came back to the department on a full-time basis in November 2015 until now.

The matter remains under investigation by the state.


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