Former East Tennessee sheriff faces hearing on extortion, drug charges

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long faces a rearraignment hearing where he could change his not guilty plea to federal extortion and drug charges.

The hearing Monday before U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice comes a week before his May 13 trial.

Long, a Democrat and career lawman who was elected sheriff in 2006, was arrested Feb. 2 on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, extortion, money laundering, providing a gun to a felon and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Long resigned after his arrest.

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

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