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Ex-state prosecutor due for plea in federal case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Mingo County prosecutor is due in court for a plea hearing on a federal conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Michael Sparks is expected to plead guilty today in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Sparks resigned in October after being charged in a scheme to protect former Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations that Crum bought drugs.

Crum was shot to death in April in an unrelated attack as he ate lunch in his vehicle.

Federal prosecutors say Sparks and others had cooked up a scheme to keep Crum's alleged drug supplier and campaign sign maker, George White, from talking to the FBI about the late sheriff.

Former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to deprive White of his constitutional rights and has resigned from the bench.

 


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