A convicted pill mill doctor gave unreported financial help to the campaign of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was heralded as an anti-drug crusader, according to new information from a recently unsealed FBI search warrant.
Dr. Diane Shafer, who served six months in jail for running a pill mill, paid for Crum's campaign signs during the 2012 election, according to the warrant, which was filed under seal in U.S. District Court on May 7.
It was unsealed Friday.
An FBI investigation already was underway when Crum, who only had been in office a little more than three months, was shot and killed on an April afternoon as he sat in his police vehicle eating lunch.
The FBI was investigating Crum on suspicion of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, unlawfully possessing controlled substances and potentially conspiring to tamper with an informant, according to the warrant.
The warrant was sought for Crum's department-issued iPhone, which he had on him at the time of his murder. FBI Special Agent Michael Hansen argued in the request for a warrant that the phone contained evidence Crum conspired to tamper with a federal informant.
Tennis Melvin Maynard stands accused of shooting Crum to death and is awaiting trial in jail.
The cellphone traveled with Crum's body to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and later was released to State Police. Authorities reviewed its contents on April 19.
Hansen wrote in the application that Charles "Butch" West, a Mingo County attorney, contacted the FBI in February about a client who had information about Crum's criminal behavior. Agents met with West and his client, George White, on Feb. 22 at West's office.
White ran a sign business in Delbarton where the sheriff ordered thousands of dollars in campaign signs for the 2012 elections. White told agents he also sold prescription painkillers and provided drugs to Crum on numerous occasions while Crum was magistrate.
Crum had promised during his 2012 campaign to rid the county of drugs, according to previously published reports. After he took office in January, he started "Operation Zero Tolerance," a multi-agency effort to crack down on drug abuse.
The sheriff ordered large quantities of campaign signs from White and told him to contact his associates for payment, the document said.
Shafer was one of those associates.
Shafer pleaded guilty last fall to conspiracy to misuse of a Drug Enforcement Administration identification number and was sentenced to six months in federal prison. She was released May 14.
She also paid a $5,000 fine and forfeited $144,550 to the government.
Authorities said then that the doctor wrote more than 118,000 prescriptions to people who came to her office with cash in hand between 2003 and 2010. That was more than several hospitals in the state during the same time period.
The prescriptions for drugs like hydrocodone and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax were written without a medical examination.