State News: Former Sheriff of Tallahatchie County Sentenced to Prison for Accepting Bribes

The former Sheriff of Tallahatchie County was sentenced to six years in federal prison Thursday for agreeing to allow robbery of a drug dealer and drug distribution in Tallahatchie County in exchange for bribes.

William Brewer

William Brewer, 58, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills in Oxford for sentencing following his guilty plea for extorting a bribe, and Mills imposed the 72-month sentence. In addition, Brewer was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release upon his release from prison and to forfeit $42,500.

Evidence showed that a source cooperating with the FBI who was known by Brewer to sell drugs in Tallahatchie County informed Brewer of plans to rob another drug dealer of drugs and money. Brewer did nothing to oppose the actions of the individual and the individual delivered $6,500 cash to Brewer at his residence in Tallahatchie County on June 21, 2018, representing that the cash was money obtained from robbing the drug dealer.

On two subsequent occasions, the individual delivered additional payments to Brewer’s residence representing that they were proceeds from the sale of the stolen drugs. The evidence established that Brewer accepted a total of $10,000 in bribes over a two-month period.

In August of 2018, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Brewer with multiple counts of extortion by a bribe, and a single count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics. On October 30, 2018, Brewer pled guilty to count three of the indictment in exchange of dismissal of the remaining counts and faced not more than 20 years in prison.

Following the sentence, U.S. Attorney William Lamar noted that Brewer’s actions were not only illegal but a betrayal of the citizens he was sworn to serve.

“William Brewer violated his oath, dishonoring himself, his badge, and every honest lawman who wears a badge,” Lamar said. “The citizens of our state and Tallahatchie County deserved better and we hope that today’s sentence will emphasize the commitment of this office to hold accountable elected officials who would so blatantly betray the public’s trust.” staff report



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