Grand jury indicts Hamilton County Sheriff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal grand jury returned a 28-count indictment against former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long.

In addition to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, the 55-year-old is charged with extortion, money laundering, providing a gun to a felon and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Long was arrested Feb. 2. He has since resigned and is in custody pending a March 5 arraignment.

A conviction on all charges would carry a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life.

Court records show the FBI started the investigation in April 2007. Long was not aware that a known felon who was assisting him was working undercover with the FBI.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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