Feds ask for Mingo plea-hearing dates

By Staff reports
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal prosecutors asked a judge Monday to schedule plea-hearing dates for a former Mingo County prosecuting attorney and magistrate.Michael Sparks, who resigned as prosecutor earlier this month, is charged with depriving a man of his constitutional rights. The charge carries a maximum of one year in prison.Dallas "Big Dal" Toler resigned as the county's chief magistrate hours before federal prosecutors charged him with one-count of voter registration fraud. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.Both cases have been assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston.Federal prosecutors say Sparks participated in the same scheme Michael Thornsbury, the county's former circuit judge, pleaded guilty to.
George White, who was sentenced to one to 15 years on drug charges, was allegedly giving information to federal agents about providing the county's sheriff, Eugene Crum, with prescription pills. Prosecutors say, to protect Crum, county officials devised a scheme to have White change attorneys and then say he never gave Crum pills.Toler was not mentioned in that scheme by federal prosecutors. Instead, prosecutors say, he knowingly registered a felon to vote.   
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