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Feds charge W.Va. judge in drug-related conspiracy

September 19, 2013
Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a West Virginia judge conspired with a local prosecutor, county commissioner and now-deceased sheriff to stop a confidential informant from feeding the FBI information about his drug deals with the sheriff.

Suspended Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury was charged Thursday with one count of conspiracy. The filing of an information signals he's cooperating and may plead guilty.

It's unclear whether Prosecutor Michael Sparks and Commissioner Dave Baisden will be charged.

Ex-Sheriff Eugene Crum died in an April shooting apparently unrelated to the conspiracy.

Thornsbury already faces separate corruption charges.

Prosecutors say he abused his power to try to frame a romantic rival for false crimes: Thornsbury had an affair with his secretary and tried to frame her husband between 2008 and 2012 after she ended things.



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