Federal authorities charged Mingo Prosecutor Michael Sparks and Mingo Magistrate Dallas "Big Dal" Toler in unrelated allegations Wednesday, the latest details to emerge in a continuing saga of corruption in the county.
Both are expected to plead guilty.
"These are obviously two more significant developments in our ongoing investigation into Mingo County corruption," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Wednesday evening.
Sparks is charged with depriving a man's rights through his role in the conspiracy with ex-Judge Michael Thornsbury and others to thwart an FBI investigation into slain sheriff Eugene Crum.
"Regrettably, I made a mistake in judgment and now accept the consequences," Sparks wrote in a resignation letter obtained by several media outlets.
"My attempt to prevent potential injury to the reputation and drug enforcement efforts of the late Sheriff Eugene Crum was unjustifiable. The end should never justify the means in criminal justice."
Before Wednesday Sparks publicly denied any wrongdoing.
"Michael is a very good person. He has made mistakes, and given those mistakes that he's made, there are consequences to those actions," said Kent Varney, a Kentucky-based attorney representing Sparks.
"Michael is deeply regretful and remorseful for what he's done. He's accepted any possible penalties and ... hopefully he'll be able to move past this and go further with his life."
Toler is accused of illegally registering a felon to vote ahead of the 2012 primary election.
"He knew he was a felon when he procured that registration," Goodwin said.
Goodwin said he expects more details about Toler's alleged misdeeds to come out during plea proceedings.
Toler resigned his position Wednesday. In a resignation letter, Sparks said he would officially step down a second before midnight Friday.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Steve Ruby and C. Haley Bunn filed informations in federal court Wednesday charging Sparks and Toler. An information is similar to an indictment, but typically indicates the accused is cooperating with law enforcement.
Sparks is accused of working with Thornsbury, Crum, ex-Mingo Commissioner Dave Baisden and potentially other officials to derail an FBI investigation into Crum's alleged drug activity.
Crum allegedly owed sign maker George White $3,000 for materials purchased leading up to the 2012 election. After Crum became sheriff, he had an informant purchase prescription pills illegally from White, according to the federal filing against Thornsbury.
White was arrested, but his attorney at the time set up a meeting with the FBI. White told the FBI he'd given Crum prescription pills illegally on several occasions when Crum was a magistrate, according to federal filings.
Crum found out about White's conversation and allegedly told Sparks. Then Baisden told White's brother if he would switch attorneys, the judge might give him a lighter sentence, according the information filed against Sparks.
"Sparks did these acts knowing that a more favorable plea agreement for (George White) was a necessary part of the scheme to coerce (White) into firing (his attorney) in order to protect the sheriff," states the information.
White switched attorneys and received a lighter sentence and a lower fine. Originally charged with five criminal charges, three were dropped, the information states. The sentences for the two charges would run at the same time instead of consecutively, the information states.
White was fined $10,000 as opposed to the $20,000 originally outlined by Sparks, the information states.
Sparks agreed to the details of the plea agreement "at Baisden's behest," and Thornsbury approved the agreement, according to federal prosecutors.