North Carolina police chief arrested after two day search


(Above: Photo of William Anthony Spivey getting arrested), Photo courtesy of ABC13 News

   What seems like a plot for a movie about a corrupt police chief has now turned into a reality in Chadbourn, North Carolina. In April of 2021 Anthony Spivey, a former police chief, resigned. Almost two weeks after his resignation he began to face multiple felony charges. Spivey was charged with 33 counts of embezzling state property that was identified as evidence, two counts of trafficking heroin or opium, and three counts of trafficking by fraudulent or forging prescriptions. 

   With more detail, it was revealed that he was accused of embezzling $8,000 meant for the family of Philip Tanner Buffkin, who passed away due to leukemia in 2019. There is also an accusation that he stole and sold five guns from the Chadbourn Police Department between the years 2019 and 2021. 

   Spivey was originally put on administrative leave in March because of concerns about his leadership after a letter stated that the town’s police department “neglected to send any narcotics for chemical analysis to the state crime lab for a substantial period of time,” reported ABC12

   Spivey was soon arrested by the State Bureau of Investigation and he was placed in Columbus County jail with a $665,000 bond. Nearly a year later, he was expected to show up for a court date on February 22, but was not present. Spivey’s family said that he had been missing since around 5:30 pm that previous Sunday, when he failed to return from a fishing trip on the Lumber River in Columbus County, North Carolina. The pickup truck he was reported driving was found abandoned near the Sand Hills Hunting Club, and a search for Spivey began. In his pickup truck, a letter was found that his family said was “Saying his goodbyes,” WWAY stated.

   Police searched for Spivey in the Lumber River in the woods near Fair Bluff. Two dive teams were assigned to search the river from 1:00 pm to about 7:30 pm in the hopes of finding Spivey, who was presumed drowned. Nothing was found in the river. After a thorough two-day search, Horry County police in South Carolina arrested Spivey. The former police chief was found alive and well after police learned that he was hiding at his aunt’s home in Horry County. The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and the Horry County Sheriff’s Office combined their efforts to send detectives to the home on Wednesday, February 23. Sheriff Jody Greene said that “Spivey ran into the woods and was caught a short time later without incident,” reported ABC13

   Greene told news sources that Spivey will be charged with failing to appear in court as well as also being faced with additional charges. 

   When asked how they feel about this happening in their community, Broughton students had a lot to say. “It’s scary, because the people who are supposed to be protecting you are actually bad themselves,” freshman Melina Kuehn said.

   Other students agreed with Kuehn.“Why would you be a police officer if you’re going to do something illegal? He’s a terrible person!” said senior Lilly MacKenzie.

   “It’s pretty sick” chimed in senior Eli Fuller.

   Spivey is supposed to be sent to Columbus County where he will be officially charged along with charges facing anyone who assisted Spivey.