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Ex-sheriff sentenced to 1 1/2 years

Former Page County Sheriff Danny Presgraves was handed a 19-month sentence for his guilty plea to racketeering this morning.

According to the Northern Virginia Daily, Presgraves’ voice cracked as he apologized before U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad.  “I failed the people of Page County miserably,” he said, according to the paper.

After the sentencing in Harrisonburg, U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy said public corruption is in some ways more serious than other crimes handled by his office.

“We must be vigilant in our role of protecting the public trust and attempt to ensure that government is fair and just.  We cannot sit idly by and allow men like Sheriff Presgaves to abuse their positions, enrich themselves, and abuse the people who put faith in him,” Heaphy said.

In pleading guilty to one count of racketeering, Presgraves admitted misusing inmate labor and urging others to keep quiet about his activities.  He had been charged with a variety of allegations, including taking money to protect cockfighting activities.

By Peter Vieth

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