A member of the Mingo County Commission said he is convinced Sheriff Eugene Crum’s murder was retaliation for his work on drug eradication.

“Eugene was waging such a war on drugs  — in not only Mingo County, but southern West Virginia — that threats were being made against Eugene,” Commissioner Hootie Smith told MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday. “Eugene had relayed those to me.”

“To those guys who may have had a part in killing our sheriff, you better find a hole to get in because we are going to be dead after them.” — Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden

Since taking office Jan. 1, Crum had engineered drug operations in the county that put more than four dozen defendants in jail and shut down several pill mills.

Smith said he had suggested Crum should take additional steps to protect himself and his family.

“He would not go into specifics, but he talked to me that he was getting feedback and threats,”  said Smith. “Drug dealers said he was stepping on their toes and cutting off their supplies. He was getting rumblings of that.”

Williamson Police Chief Dave Rockel said Crum was the most proactive sheriff Mingo County had ever had in the area of the drug war. He said Crum knew where the problems were and he didn’t hesitate to go after them.

“You have a doctor’s office opens at 5 in the morning and you have 100 people standing outside waiting for it to open,” Rockel said. “That’s what we call in Mingo County ‘a clue’ that something is wrong.”

County Commissioner John Hubbard said the sheriff had a gift of being able to reach into the ugly underworld of the drug trade in the county and extract actionable information.

“Even those we would call less desirables, he would be able to go up to them, converse with them, and get information from them and then be able to use that,”  said County Commissioner John Hubbard. “He’d use that to get to someone far worse than who was informing him.” 

Though Crum’s death was a blow to the county’s war on drugs, commissioners hoped it could also become a rallying cry.

“It’s unreal what him and Dave Rockel have done for our county,” said Commissioner David Baisden. “They was well on their way.

“To those guys who may have had a part in killing our sheriff, you better find a hole to get in because we are going to be dead after them.”


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  • Miles

    Guess the truth must really tick you off Jethro.

  • Miles

    Jethro the truth is this had absolutely nothing to do with weed.

  • Jethro

    The truth really ticks you off doesn't it miles?

  • Miles

    So the guys in big pharma get a pass Jethro. You my friend are an idiot. A good man died and you go to the weed well. Shame on you for being a complete and utter idiot.

  • Brian

    The brain drain has really taken a toll on this state.

  • ME

    Doesn't really make a difference Chad. Marijuana is also illegal. It leads to other things, like addiction to pills and meth lab. Don't fool yourself

    • Bianca

      Sorry me, both pot and alcohol alter you, one is no different than the other and you have the choice to try something else. I am sure there are many folks that started with alcohol and ended up on pills. Alcohol is just legal and the sooner pot becomes legal, the sooner the black market is diminished. And Mexico crashes.

  • Sherry

    RIP Sheriff Crum.

  • jethro

    sorry chad didnt know i was dealing with an expert. either way i think dealers still sell pot , thats why they bring bales of it across the rio grande. whatever you want think to clear your conscience is up to you. pills pot or whatever, they still kill people to keep their business going. i would like to send you across the border to mexico for a few days

  • jethro

    go ahead , do your part to pay for the murder a sheriff fund

    • chad

      you're an idot jeffro. First off nobody uses seeds anymore. It's called cloning. Second pill mills don't deal pot, these are "doctors" who are on the payroll of a much larger operation.

      Open your eyes and broaden your mind. This action was set into motion by a cartel or a mafia like organization. Not a pot dealer.

  • jethro

    you had to get your seeds from somewhere too

  • jethro

    oh thats right drug dealers only sell pills not weed. ignorance is bliss , rationalize it all you want

  • chad

    not if I grow my own and this is pills we're talkin about not weed.

  • jethro

    this aint mexico! the war is right in our backyard! and remember everytime you take a hit off a big fatty remember you are supporting the murderers!