Monday, November 27, 2006

Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell pleads not guilty

Not guilty plea from indicted former Virginia sheriff

A former Virginia sheriff is pleading not guilty to charges that could put him behind bars for more than 50 years.

Franklin Cassell allegedly turned a blind eye while a dozen of his officers sold drugs their department had seized. Prosecutors say since 1998, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs made their way from Cassell's office back to the streets.

Cassell retired two weeks ago. Two of his officers also pleaded not guilty today. But another, who is cooperating with investigators, plans to eventually enter a guilty plea.
Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell had been sheriff since 1992. Over a month ago, Cassell and twelve of his current or former officers and seven other people were indicted and face federal charges in a drug and gun racketeering investigation. Upon indictment, Cassell indicated he would take an unpaid leave of absence. The Henry Board of Supervisors urged him to resign, and days later his attorneys issued a statement saying Cassell was retiring effective immediately. Six of the officers were placed on administrative leave and the seventh was fired.

Cassell, 68, has been sheriff since 1992. He is charged with impeding an investigation by federal agents and with money laundering.

According to prosecutors, cocaine, steroids, marijuana and other drugs seized by the sheriff's office were resold to the public for over eight years. Additionally, guns and other evidenciary material was reported stolen.


People can be really despicable, huh?

We have got to start reforming our political and bureaucratic systems from the top down AS WELL AS the bottom up; there just is no one way or the other. There is corruption everywhere, and the country cannot continue to be run in such a dangerous way. If not, we will continue to pollute our country with abhorrant people and behavior, and we will not be able to recover.


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