A Vance County grand jury has returned bills of indictment against three Vance County deputies involving an incident in 2020 surrounding a 2007 White Cadillac STS.
Vance Sheriff Curtis Brame issued a statement on Tuesday, April 27 acknowledging the indictments.
“All three deputies have been suspended from duty with the sheriff’s office pending resolution of their charges,” Brame stated.
“I believe in and support my officers and that protocol was followed,” the statement continued. Brame added that he does not have any evidence at this time that would warrant charges brought against them.
Information from District Attorney Mike Waters names deputies Purav J. Patel, Mitch Taybron Pittman and Stephen ONeal Staton were indicted on a string of charges ranging from embezzlement and extortion to motor vehicle title fraud and conspiracy. The charges stem from incidents that began in late April 2020 and continued for several months. The car was seized as evidence, and then the driver’s aunt – who provided the driver of the Cadillac with most of the money to buy the car in Virginia – was subsequently convinced to turn the car over to the sheriff’s office, according to the district attorney’s office.
In the Sheriff’s statement, Brame said he had an outside agency conduct an internal investigation which concluded that “violation of office policy and lack of training was found.”
A review of documents from the district attorney reveals a string of choices. Ultimately in any case an indictment reveals a questioning of the choices made by the person or persons accused.
In addition, at the outset, the DA is requesting the court allow access to and consideration of information presently being denied to investigators as privileged information, attorney-client privileged information.