FBI Testimony Reveals Claims Against Love Co. Sheriff

Wednesday, July 27th 2016, 10:28 pm
By: News 9

The Love County Sheriff Joe Russell has been arrested, charged and shrouded in controversy. He claims he's not guilty of corruption, maintaining a drug house or other charges. But FBI testimony in a 57-page court transcript tells a different story.

The intention of the hearing back in November was to determine whether the Love County Sheriff's son George "Willie" Russell would remain in custody following a federal drug indictment.

According to the courtroom transcript, FBI investigator Agent Steve West told the judge, "There is a history of Willie being protected by the sheriff... not suffering consequences for his drug deals, drug purchases.”

West testified Russell sold drugs out of the home he shared with his father Love County Sheriff Joe Russell, and even sold drugs from the Love County sheriff truck.

Drug-dealing isn't the only criminal activity that allegedly occurred on Sheriff Russell's watch.

Agent West also testified Sheriff Russell would arrest women for public intoxication while partying on the Red River.

He told the judge, "Instead of taking them to jail, he would take them to his house where Willie... reported to have them dance or strip."

The agent also spoke about the county-wide concern about cooperating with law enforcement saying, "Everyone is very hesitant to talk. They don't want Joe Russell knowing that they are talking."

Three names were mentioned during that hearing of people who disappeared from the county after cooperating with local law enforcement.

They are Jordan Buckaloo, whose decomposed body was found in 2012, then Molly Miller and Colt Haynes.

The two haven't been seen since 2013.

7/27/16 Related Story: OSBI Plans News Conference On Disappearances of Molly Miller, Colt Haynes

Agent West said his investigation was faced with "the real fear" of confidential informants or anyone with information disappearing too.

A multi-county grand jury recently recommended Sheriff Russell be removed from office.

A hearing is set for Tuesday.

Molly Miller's family says it believes Sheriff Russell's arrest, though not directly related, will bring answers.