CHARLESTON, W.Va. --In the weeks before he was killed, the FBI was investigating Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum for laundering money by arranging to buy campaign signs with cash obtained from a doctor convicted of running a pill mill, according to a federal search warrant.
According to the warrant, which was unsealed last week, Dr. Diane Shafer paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash" to George White for making Crum's campaign signs, according to the warrant issued to search Crum's phone.
The FBI also was investigating whether Crum committed mail fraud by submitting fake campaign disclosure forms by mail, and also if Crum possessed illegal drugs and if he intended to distribute those drugs.
In September 2012, Shafer was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to misusing her Drug Enforcement Administration registration number. The plea came as a result of a federal probe that examined more than 118,000 prescriptions that Shafer doled out since 2003.
Crum was shot to death on April 3 as he sat in his police cruiser in Williamson. The search warrant was filed May 7 and unsealed Friday.
Recently, Crum and White were mentioned in a federal charge filed against Michael Thornsbury, who stepped down earlier this month as the county's only circuit judge before pleading guilty to conspiring to deprive White of his constitutional rights.
Thornsbury's charge states that he, along with then-County Commissioner David Baisden and then-Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks, devised a scheme to keep White quiet about providing Crum with prescription pills.
Federal agents wanted to search Crum's phone, because they believed there was evidence "of a conspiracy to tamper with an informant," according to the request for a search warrant.
The request states that former Williamson police chief Dave Rockel participated in the scheme. Rockel stepped down as chief in June and joined the sheriff's department. However, he was fired last month by new Sheriff James Smith.
Federal prosecutors said Crum had White arrested, instead of paying him $3,000 owed for campaign materials. Reportedly, White then went to federal agents and told them about allegedly providing Crum with pills.