CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The prosecutor handling the case of a man whose arrest began a chain of events that brought down Mingo County's circuit judge and prosecuting attorney filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the drug charges against him.
Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph filed a motion to dismiss the charges against George White, 65, of Delbarton, citing a lack of evidence.
Randolph wrote in his motion that there are major problems in White's case, including missing evidence that "only exacerbates the suspicion surrounding the case."
White was arraigned a second time on drug charges earlier this year. In December, Circuit Judge John Cummings vacated White's original guilty plea on those drug charges.
During the late Eugene Crum's campaign for sheriff last year, he bought signs and other promotional items on credit from White's sign shop in Delbarton, according to federal prosecutors.
After Crum was elected sheriff, instead of paying a $3,000 bill to White, Crum sent an undercover police officer to the shop, where he bought three oxycodone tablets from White, according to federal prosecutors.
After White was arrested, he began talking to investigators about providing prescription drugs to Crum.
When Crum found out, prosecutors say, he and other county officials -- including Mingo Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks and County Commissioner David Baisden -- hatched a plan to keep White quiet. They said he would get a light sentence if he switched lawyers and stopped talking to investigators.
White did switch lawyers and pleaded guilty to drug charges in front of the county's circuit judge, Michael Thornsbury -- who signed off on the scheme to thwart the investigation into Crum, according to federal prosecutors.
A supposed audio recording of the alleged buy is inaudible, there is no video recording of any alleged transaction, and the identity of the informant is unknown, Randolph's motion states.
Also, Randolph hasn't been provided with documents he requested that would show what evidence was collected after a search warrant was executed on White's business. However, "no such documentation exists . . . or if it did exist, it has been lost, destroyed or removed from its proper place of storage," the motion states.
"Even though evidence-related files from all other defendants arrested in the same round-up as Mr. White were located in the evidence file cabinet, the file for George White was not present."
The search warrant, however, wouldn't hold up in court because Thornsbury issued it, Randolph writes. The warrant was issued to Crum and former Williamson police chief Dave Rockel and consisted of two sentences, "one of which is clearly irrelevant to a finding of probable cause," according to the motion.
Crum and Rockel filed the police report on White's arrest. White was indicted on charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver shortly after Crum and Rockel searched his business around Jan. 30.
Randolph also notes that the officers involved in White's case no longer are law enforcement officials.