Feds seek plea hearings for 2 ex-Mingo officials

October 23, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors want a judge to schedule plea hearings for two former Mingo County officials charged in a corruption probe.

The motions filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston focus on former prosecutor Michael Sparks and former Magistrate Dallas Toler.

Sparks is accused in a scheme to protect Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations he’d bought drugs from a campaign sign-maker.

Prosecutors allege Sparks, former county Commissioner David Baisden and former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury offered a lighter sentence if sign-maker George White fired his lawyer and hired one they preferred.

Crum died in April in an unrelated shooting. White is serving one to 15 years under a plea agreement.

Toler is charged in a separate federal case with illegally registering a felon to vote in the 2012 primary election.