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Four men facing federal charges plead guilty

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Four Cherryville men accused of offering to provide protection to trucks carrying stolen goods and cash have pleaded guilty in federal court.

Of the four, three were linked to law enforcement, including the Cherryville Police Department.

Federal indictments say the six men offered protection for supposed criminals who transported stolen goods through Cherryville and beyond. The indictments said three of the defendants collectively received over $17,000 in cash payments to follow what they believed to be tractor-trailer loads of stolen goods as they moved within Gaston County, Charlotte and Cleveland County on state and interstate highways to cities in South Carolina.

The men were arrested in October, after which Cherryville Police Chief Woody Burgess and Police Capt. Mike Allred were suspended with pay. Burgess resigned on Oct. 31.

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