Middle Tenn. sheriff sentenced to 50 months in e-cig scheme

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (AP) — A jailed Tennessee sheriff has been sentenced to about four years in prison for charges related to profiting from the sale of electronic cigarettes to inmates.

The Tennessean reports that 41-year-old former Rutherford County sheriff Robert Arnold received the sentence Thursday in Nashville federal court. His 50-month sentence includes the eight months he’s already served.

In January, Arnold pleaded guilty to wire fraud, honest services fraud and extortion. He has been suspended since November.

Rutherford County commissioners appointed Mike Fitzhugh to serve as sheriff in January until August 2018, when Arnold’s four-year term would have finished. Fitzhugh plans to run for the position then.

Arnold’s uncle, John Vanderveer, and ex-sheriff’s administration chief Joe Russell have pleaded guilty to charges in the e-cigarette scheme and are awaiting September sentencings.

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