Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 15, 2014

Judge revokes former Mingo magistrate’s bail

CHARLESTON (AP) — A judge has revoked bail for a former Mingo County magistrate awaiting sentencing on a federal voter fraud conviction.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston ruled Thursday that 45-year-old Dallas Toler will remain jailed pending further proceedings.

Toler was returned to jail Monday night after prosecutors alleged that he violated the conditions of his bond by trying to sell cocaine.

The Charleston Gazette reports Toler is scheduled for sentencing March 10. He pleaded guilty in December to a charge that he illegally registered a convicted felon to vote in the 2012 primary election.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby wouldn’t say after Thursday’s hearing if prosecutors plan to file more charges over the cocaine accusation.

Toler, 45, who wore an orange prison jumpsuit and was shackled at his ankles at the hearing, is being held in the South Central Regional Jail.

According to a motion filed by prosecutors, Toler allegedly allowed other individuals to use his personal vehicle to transport what he believed to be cocaine. One of the individuals, who was not identified, agreed to become a confidential informant after Williamson police stopped the vehicle on Dec. 31. Toler wasn’t in the vehicle. A substance found in the vehicle was sent to the West Virginia State Police lab for testing after a field test for narcotics was negative.

During a Jan. 3 meeting that was recorded, Toler accepted $850 from the informant, a payment that he believed was proceeds from cocaine distribution. Toler and the informant discussed a plan to buy and distribute more cocaine, and Toler accepted another payment from the informant on Jan. 8, the motion said.

The vote charge against Toler stemmed from a widespread probe of corruption in the southern West Virginia coalfields county. In that case, he was accused of knowing in April 2012 that a person was on probation for a felony at the time the voter registration application was submitted. Toler resigned as magistrate on Oct. 9, 2013, the same day that he was charged.

Toler is among several former Mingo County officials convicted in a federal corruption investigation.

Ex-county commissioner David Baisden was sentenced last month to more than a year and a half in prison on an extortion charge. He pleaded guilty in October to trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount in 2009, then terminating the county’s contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate.

Former Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury and ex-county prosecutor Michael Sparks were accused of protecting the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations that Crum bought drugs from a campaign sign maker. Authorities said Sparks and Thornsbury kept the sign maker, George White, from talking to the FBI about Crum, who was killed in an unrelated shooting last April.

Last year, Sparks pleaded guilty to depriving White of his constitutional rights and Thornsbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive White of his rights. Both are awaiting sentencing.

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