Highway patrol troopers arrested over “ticket irregularities”

Crime

(WRAL) Two former State Highway Patrol troopers were arrested Wednesday after an investigation into ticket irregularities.

Jason Benson is charged with five felony counts of obstruction of justice, five misdemeanor counts of failure to discharge his duties and five misdemeanor counts of making a false return of process. Christopher Carter faces two counts on each of the same charges.

A Highway Patrol supervisor first learned of possible irregularities during a weekly citations review in June. At issue was whether the troopers had written an excessive number of tickets to the same drivers.

Benson, a nine-year veteran assigned to Troop B in Harnett County, “was separated” from the Highway Patrol in July. Carter, a five-year veteran assigned to Troop B, had been placed administrative duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation, but it was unclear when he left the patrol.

During the investigation, the SBI identified more than a dozen victims who had been issued citations or charges unbeknownst to them.

Willie Cain said Benson pulled him over several months ago for improper passing, and both he and his girlfriend received citations.

“I received, if I’m not mistaken, five or six, and her just as well,” Cain said Wednesday.

Most of the citations stemmed from single-car accidents or abandoned vehicles, according to the SBI.

In some cases, the two troopers charged individuals and failed to serve the citation, and the victims didn’t know they had been charged, therefore they didn’t show up for their court date, officials said.

As a result, arrest warrants were issued for some while others had their driver’s licenses suspended.

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