Former Wrightsville Beach Police Officer Arrested On Bribery Charges

A former police officer with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department was arrested Wednesday after an investigation by Special Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) Coastal District.

On August 31st, a New Hanover County grand jury indicted Shaun Patrick Appler, 48, of Wrightsville Beach, on bribery charges.  Appler turned himself in at the New Hanover County Detention Center this morning.  He has been charged with two felony counts of bribery by a public official.  After going before a magistrate, he was issued a $5,000 unsecured bond.

The SBI investigation began on November 13, 2019, at the request of District Attorney Ben David.  The investigation found that in 2019, Appler, while a sergeant with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department, allegedly asked for nude photos and sex in exchange for what he called “free passes” (staying out of trouble when it comes to any possible law enforcement encounters) on the beach.

The investigation is ongoing.  If anyone has additional information, please call the SBI Coastal District Office in Jacksonville at 910-346-2121.