Former Allen County Sheriff charged with extortion, soliciting bribes

Former Allen County Sheriff charged with extortion, soliciting bribes

ALLEN COUNTY, OH - A former Allen County Sheriff was charged with multiple counts of extortion, soliciting bribes and lying to the FBI.

Samuel A. Crish, 54, is accused of asking and taking bribes from drug dealers, people arrested in prostitution stings, suspected gamblers and others.

"The conduct described in these charges is as offensive as it is audacious," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Demanding bribes from drug dealers, gamblers and johns arrested in prostitution stings reads like something out of a bad movie. This defendant let down the people of Allen County and the men and women who served with him at the Sheriff's Office. He does not represent the vast majority of law enforcement, and he will now be held accountable for his crimes."

According to the indictment, Crish extorted/solicited nearly $100,000 from five people between 2012 and 2016.

"Mr. Crish tarnished his badge when he chose to use his official capacity to influence criminal investigations and to protect his self-interests," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. "He further exacerbated the situation by lying to the FBI in an attempt to conceal his criminal conduct.  As Mr. Crish was a law enforcement officer and county sheriff ,sworn to uphold the law -- his conduct is particularly egregious."

Crish joined the Allen County Sheriff's Office in 1991, where he held numerous positions, that included commander of the office's Investigative Division and the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force (WCOCTF).

He was elected sheriff in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The case is currently being investigated by the FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Crish's next court appearance has not yet been confirmed.

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