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Sheriff arrested on drug, extortion and bribery charges

August 10, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Federal officials have arrested a Mississippi Delta sheriff, charging him with narcotics trafficking and extortion.

Tallahatchie County Sheriff William Brewer was arrested Friday by the FBI and charged in federal court in Oxford with conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, plus a linked charge of extortion and bribery. Defense attorney Kevin Horan said Brewer was being held Friday in the Lafayette County jail.

It’s unclear what prosecutors allege that Brewer has done. In an unusual move, an investigator’s sworn statement detailing the charges wasn’t made public. A cover sheet accuses Brewer of illegal activity dating back to 2003, but Horan says facts won’t support that long of a time frame for any impropriety of which Brewer is accused. Horan declined comment on his client’s guilt or innocence. The supporting documents are unlikely to be unsealed before Tuesday, Horan said. That’s when Brewer is scheduled for a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Percy that will consider whether he should continue to be detained, as well as examine the evidence behind the charges.

If convicted, Brewer faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, along with fines of $250,000 to $1 million per count.

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