Ex-trooper gets 2 years' probation


A former state trooper was sentenced yesterday to two years' probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service for grand theft, the result of an internal sting operation in which he was filmed taking $1,024 in supposed drug money planted at the scene of a raid.

Cpl. Erik M. Hicks, 29, of Brandywine, who was assigned to the state police Bureau of Drug Enforcement in Columbia, pleaded guilty in March. He also resigned, ending a seven-year career.

State police spokesman Michael J. McKelvin said a drug suspect's complaint last summer about missing cash led investigators to set up the dummy drug raid Nov. 30 with

about $4,000 in marked money placed in a drawer and Corporal Hicks as the target.

Deputy State's Attorney Sue A. Schenning said sentencing guidelines called for a sentence ranging from probation to six months. She asked Circuit Judge John Grason Turnbull II for a sentence "to reflect the breach of trust."

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