CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The federal corruption investigation focused on Mingo County continues even after this week’s resignations of Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks and Mingo County Magistrate Dallas Toler.

“When you secure the cooperation of individuals like we’ve done, most recently, with Mr. Sparks and Mr. Toler, that may lead us to yet other avenues to explore and other evidence to develop,” said Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Southern District.

On Wednesday, those in his office filed federal informations in U.S. District Court in Charleston against Sparks, alleging a rights violation, and Toler, alleging voter fraud.

They are the latest to be charged in an investigation that has already lead to guilty pleas and resignations from former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury and former Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden.

According to the court filing, Sparks participated in a conspiracy, with Thornsbury and Baisden, to protect last Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.  Federal prosecutors said Sparks’ cooperation was “key” to a scheme to give Crum’s alleged drug dealer a more lenient drug sentence, earlier this year, because he changed lawyers and stopped talking to federal investigators about Crum.

Sparks could serve time in prison.  “He certainly is exposed to jail time.  That is entirely within the discretion of the court,” said Goodwin.  According to federal guidelines, the maximum sentence for a violation of Constitutional rights is one year.

Toler is charged with voter fraud for allegedly registering a convicted felon to vote last year when he knew that person was a convicted felon.

As of Thursday, plea hearings had not yet been scheduled for Sparks and Toler.

Thornsbury and Baisden are scheduled to be sentenced on separate federal charges in January.

Goodwin said what happens in Mingo County affects everyone.

“Ultimately, what we want to make sure of is that there is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people in place in every corner of America, really, and this happens to be the corner of America that I’m charged with protecting,” he said.

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Comments

  • P1

    Please send the FBI and U.S. Attorney on over to Pocahontas County- corruption in the backwoods is rampant. Local Cops, State Police, Magistrates, Judges, Prosecutors, Assistant Prosecutors, Local Cronies, etc. Like Mingo, corruption is business as usual and a daily part of life.

  • wvman75

    Our Secretary of State, who is now running for Senate, really did a bang up job of cleaning up politics in Mingo County. At least, that's what she claimed and told us.

  • Non union dude

    This is so good these scum bags are singing like a canary it a good day for W V stick a fork losers lol

  • CaptainQ

    The Feds may as well establish a permanent HQ in Mingo County. No doubt, many Federal investigators will be spending the bulk of their careers ferreting out the centuries-old corruption that has been the 'norm' in Mingo County.

  • John

    Think it might lead to the SBA, Business, Mingo County Schools and Mingo Central, and the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority. Was it not the County Comish. That created MCRA??? JUST ASKING??.?.....

  • C.Hoffman

    Who will investigate the US Attorney's office for failure to prosecute violations of the peoples constitutionally protected rights granted by the Creator when his employer ignores and infringes on those rights?

    • realitycheck

      huh?

  • JohnnyG

    The investigators need to keep on looking. They might even find Jimmy Hoffa.

    • Gary

      Jimmy is buried in Mingo County and has voted in every election since he became a resident.