Local News

  • Operation N.C. Gateway stings Brunswick's former sheriff in early 80s

    Ronald Hewett’s suspension as Brunswick County Sheriff is not a first for Brunswick County.

    More than 20 years ago, former Brunswick County Sheriff Herman Strong was ousted, opening the door for an eager young law enforcement officer named Ronald Hewett.

    In July 1983, the walls surrounding a drug-smuggling operation in Brunswick County came crumbling down as more than a dozen people were convicted or pleaded guilty for their roles in the smuggling operation.

  • Federal investigation into Hewett has spanned 10 months

    Since first being subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on June 7, 2007, Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett has maintained he did not know the scope or nature of the federal investigation surrounding him. He always asserted his innocence.

    Hewett indicated through it all he would fully comply with the investigation. Deputies, family members and seemingly unrelated individuals traveled to Raleigh during the past nine months to testify before the federal grand jury; all the while Hewett remained steadfast at the helm of his office.

  • One sheriff candidate indicted for embezzlement; case dismissed

    Willie Sloan, a candidate for sheriff, was indicted in U.S. District Court in 1993 for embezzlement, mail fraud and a Taft Hartley Act violation.

    Sloan was never convicted on any of the counts, according to court documents.

    In 1993, Sloan was indicted in U.S. District Court on eight counts of embezzlement of union funds, one count of mail fraud and one count of a Taft Hartley Act violation.

  • Race for sheriff: Four drop out of race; two others jump right in

    Editor's note: This is the second installment in a series of stories about sheriff candidates.

    Four candidates have withdrawn their bids for sheriff, and two more have thrown their hats in the ring—bringing the number of people who want to be sheriff to 10.

    Former Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputy Ken Messer and retired U.S. Marshal Carlton Ebhardt have expressed interest in the sheriff’s post, Brunswick County Democratic Party Chairman Vernon Ward said.

  • Sheriff's deputies allege political coercion

    They say Ronald Hewett forced them to campaign for him, participate in fundraisers and do physical labor to benefit his bid for sheriff.

    But Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies have had enough.

    Amid allegations of political coercion, intoxication at crime scenes, extortion and other charges, Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett has been suspended. He was temporarily relieved of his responsibilities as sheriff last Thursday. A hearing to permanently remove Hewett from office was continued until May 5.

  • Vying for sheriff

    The following men and women have announced their interest in becoming Brunswick's next sheriff:

    John Ingram

    Kyle Jones

    Jerry Dove

    Jennifer Fisher

    Sam Davis

    Walt Willis

    Willie Sloan

    Elizabeth Lewis

    Doug Todd

    Franky Thomas

    James Contreas

    Tim Daniels

    Twelve Democrats think they have what it takes to be sheriff.

  • Substance usage possible issue in shierff's suspension

    According to documentation, substance use may be an issue for suspended Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett.

    The petition to remove Hewett from office states, “Sheriff Hewett stated to Lt. Charlie Wilson, Lt. David Crocker, and to Captain Gene Caison that these officers should ignore the Sheriff if the Sheriff called them after 10 p.m. and either cussed them out or fired them,” the petition indicates.

  • Sheriff suspended, indicted on four felony counts; hearing to officially remove him from office slated for May 5

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    For nearly 10 months we have all wondered about the nature of the federal investigation surrounding Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett.

    Little information has been made public about the nature of the investigation, but rumors and speculation have been rampant.

    Since first being subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on June 7, 2007, Hewett has maintained he did not know the scope or the nature of the investigation—and his innocence.

  • Deputies on duty paid for work at Hewett's home

    Tucked behind a black gate and thick woods off Holden Beach Road is the home of Ronald and Julie Hewett.

    Though passersby can’t see the residence from the road, deputies claim they have been there and were forced to work there while it was being built.

    According to the petition to remove Hewett from office, Hewett “allegedly engaged in felonious and continual pattern of embezzling by a public official beginning in 2003 and continuing through 2007,” a violation of N.C. General Statute 14-92, embezzlement of funds by public officers and trustees.

  • Hewett's son assigned sheriff's office equipment

    Today he is a police officer at the Holden Beach Police Department, but sheriff’s deputies claim Justin Hewett has been receiving sheriff’s office equipment for years.

    The 21-year-old son of Ronald Hewett has received equipment and gear from the sheriff’s office including a vehicle, clothing, ammunition and a badge, deputies claim.