National News

Sentencing hearing scheduled for former Rutherford County deputy

Posted September 8

— A former deputy with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is expected to be sentenced on Monday.

Joe Russell was the former chief administrative deputy under ex-Sheriff Robert Arnold.

Arnold is serving prison time as a result of a News 4 I-Team investigation.

The court says Arnold, his uncle and Russell sold e-cigarettes to inmates and then lied about it after making a profit.

Russell pleaded guilty to wire fraud, honest services fraud and extortion, which are the same three charges Arnold pleaded guilty to.

Prosecutors say that as Arnold's chief administrative deputy, Russell had an obligation to the people to act in their best interest financially.

Russell allegedly ran the day-to-day operations and made tens of thousands of dollars through his work with JailCigs.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Stay with News 4 for updates.

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