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Magistrate denies bail for indicted Arkansas lobbyist

March 30, 2018

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A U.S. magistrate in Missouri has denied bail for an Arkansas lobbyist indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges in connection to an alleged kickback scheme.

U.S. Magistrate David P. Rush ruled Thursday that Milton Cranford, who goes by the nickname Rusty, should remain jailed after prosecutors alleged Cranford was also involved in a murder-for-hire plot. In denying bail, Rush said he found those allegations to be credible.

Cranford’s attorney, Nathan Garrett, called the allegations “absurd.”

Cranford has pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy and bribery charges. In court records, federal prosecutors alleged that Cranford tried to hire a felon to kill a Philadelphia-based lobbyist. Prosecutors say the felon was also an FBI informant.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that no charges have been filed regarding the murder-for-hire allegations.

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