Friday, June 16, 2017
Corrupt sheriff admits sex with inmates, pleads guilty
The long arm of the law reached out and nabbed another one of Tennessee's corrupt sheriffs. During the 1980s, nine (9) of 95 Tennessee Sheriffs went to federal prison on federal drug conspiracy charges. While I know people are impatient with the FBI, there are 3000 County Sheriffs in America, and lots of investigative leads on our tatterdemalion Sheriff here in St. Johns County, Florida, DAVID SHOAR, who changed his name from "HOAR" in 1994. Sheriff SHOAR/HOAR is a whore floor-planned by developers and other corrupters, who thinks he's Untouchable. His coverups continue....
Fentress County, Tenn., Sheriff Chuck Cravens was charged Thursday, April 20, 2017, with honest services wire fraud alleging he had sex with female inmates and gave them favors. Stacey Barchenger/The Tennessean Wochit
A Middle Tennessee sheriff faces federal criminal charges alleging he gave favors to women inmates in exchange for sex.
Chucky S. Cravens, who previously announced his resignation as sheriff in Fentress County, was charged and pleaded guilty to the counts Thursday in federal court in Nashville.
Court papers allege Cravens, 47, used his authority to solicit sex from women in the 150-person jail he supervised. A criminal information, the formal charging document, alleges he slept with three women inmates since July, and then gave them special treatment in exchange.
Among the favors, the documents say: Allowing the women to go outside the jail to smoke cigarettes he provided, funneling money into their inmate accounts, buying them food at convenience stores and taking them to visit relatives.
The allegations against Cravens include three counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of deprivation of rights. The fourth count stems from an incident in November, when court papers say Cravens kicked an inmate, handcuffed him and then punched the inmate twice in the back of the head.
Cravens pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger, court records show, and faces up to a 20-year prison term at a sentencing hearing set for July. He will remain out of custody until then, but a federal magistrate ordered him to give up any firearms and said he could not leave the middle or east divisions of the state.
Court filings say Cravens drove two women inmates to a vacant trailer to have sex and had sex with the inmates in his office and in his vehicle. The sheriff instructed the women they should not tell anyone, the complaint reads. Instead he gave them his personal cellphone number and told them to call if they needed anything, federal authorities allege.
In seven months the three women left more than 730 messages seeking favors, according to the complaint.
“Our citizens deserve public officials who serve their constituents, not their own personal interests,” Acting U.S. Attorney in Middle Tennessee Jack Smith said in a statement. “I promise you that elected officials in our district who abuse their authority and take advantage of the trust placed in them by the folks who put them in office will be brought to justice."
Cravens was the top law enforcement officer in the rural Tennessee county, which sits north of Crossville and has a population of about 18,000. Earlier this week, he announced his resignation effective April 28 amid an FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe, according to a post on the sheriff's department Facebook page. Read the full Facebook post here.
"During the past week, I have been in constant contact directly with the FBI regarding this pending case against Sheriff Cravens," a letter from Chief Deputy Gary Ledbetter reads. "I have been authorized to share with you that the primary focus of the FBI investigation was related only to the actions of Sheriff Cravens and NOT the Fentress County Sheriff's Office as a whole."
Cravens served as sheriff from 2006 to 2010 and was re-elected in 2014, according to Fentress County Executive Michael Cross. Since announcing his resignation, Cravens has not had contact with anyone in the sheriff's department or at the county justice center, Cross said.
He said a special county commission meeting is set for May 1 to determine a permanent replacement for Cravens.
"We're going to be deliberate and cautious about our approach," Cross said.
Reach Stacey Barchenger at 615-726-8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sbarchenger.