The entire local law system was behind this rapist cop. A circuit court judge is also falling in the investigation.
Inside The Crooked 'Courthouse Gang' Of Coal Country
If all goes according to plan, Oct. 2 could be a turning point in the bizarre and apparently corrupt world of West Virginia's Mingo County.
On that day, Judge Michael Thornsbury, who was the county's sole circuit court justice for more than 15 years, is set to to admit his role in hatching a plot with other local officials to thwart an FBI investigation into allegations involving the local sheriff's drug habit.
This alleged conspiracy is the latest chapter in a long saga involving accusations of corruption, an extramarital affair, rape, murder, moonshine, and prescription pills in a county that is currently the focus of what one federal prosecutor described to TPM as an investigation that is just getting started.
"Our investigation of public corruption in Mingo County at this point is ongoing. At this point, it would be premature to indicate how many targets or how many subjects of the investigation might exist, but we can certainly say that the investigation is very much continuing," said Steven Ruby, an assistant U.S. Attorney who is working on Thornsbury's case.
Corruption is something of a tradition in Mingo, a coal mining county that is home to less than 30,000 people and located along West Virginia's border with Kentucky. In the late 1980s, more than 50 Mingo residents who held government jobs were arrested for various illegal activities, including bribery, arson, and drug dealing. Because of this unique history, the locals have a special term for the corrupt political machinery there. It's a name investigators are using once again to describe Thornsbury and his associates -- the "courthouse gang."
Thornsbury's part in the alleged conspiracy is just the latest in a long list of disturbing recent revelations involving officials in Mingo. The alleged conspiracy also involves another major figure in Mingo, the late Eugene Crum, who was the county sheriff up until he was shot and killed on April 3 as he ate lunch in his parked car.
Family members of the suspect in Crum's shooting, Tennis Maynard, have claimed Crum raped Maynard when he was a teen, which motivated the shooting. Court filings in Maynard's case show his attorneys also plan to discuss an allegation that Crum raped a 19-year-old woman in 2002 when he was serving as police chief in a local town. That alleged rape occurred in the back of a police cruiser while two officers sat in the front seat and blared a radio to drown out the noise.
. . .