Mississippi sheriff bribed to shelter drug dealer for 15 years

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Federal officials have alleged that a former Mississippi Delta sheriff protected an illegal drug dealer for 15 years in exchange for bribes.

The accusations were unsealed Monday as Tallahatchie County Sheriff William Brewer resigned before an appearance in federal court in Oxford. He was arrested Friday on conspiracy and extortion charges.

A sworn statement said the FBI converted the drug dealer into an informant in June and recorded the informant telling Brewer of fake plans to rob a methamphetamine dealer. The FBI said the informant paid Brewer $10,000 in FBI-tracked bribes.

Brewer's lawyer declined to comment on the charges. The lawyer said Brewer resigned because remaining sheriff would have been "messy."

A judge has released Brewer to home detention on $25,000 bail.

If convicted, Brewer could face up to 40 years in prison.

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