Ex-Mendenhall police chief pleads guilty to corruption charges - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ex-Mendenhall police chief pleads guilty to corruption charges

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mendenhall's ex-police chief admitted his guilt in a federal investigation that accused him of terrorizing citizens in shakedown attempts to take their vehicles and cash.

The FBI investigated Bruce Barlow for a corruption scheme involving his department.

Barlow and attorney Mike Scott left U.S. District Court Wednesday winding down the long saga of the small town police chief accused of corruption.

The ex-law officer admitted to targeting and arresting drivers, taking their vehicles and making them pay to go free.

Barlow entered guilty pleas to conspiracy, bribery, extortion and embezzlement waiving his right to trial before U.S. District Court Judge David Bramlette.

"Justice has been served today. I think the victims have been vindicated. Public corruption is really a scourge not only in small towns, but throughout our state, and so I think we hope to continue to go after the corrupt cops, corrupt politicians taking advantage of their office," said Assistant U. S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

The 50 year old was the top law cop in a town of about 2,500 in 2010 when the FBI began investigating the allegations.

Investigators said he stole more than $30,000.00.

Victims were stopped and told to sign over their vehicles and were forced to pay cash in come cases up to $4,000.00 dollars in exchange for release or for dropping criminal charges.

"I think the victims will have an opportunity to be heard at sentencing and I think at sentencing more will come out and I think it will be vindication for the victims and for the community," added Hurst.

Barlow is the second Mendenhall chief to face federal charges.

In 2005 former chief Jimbo Sullivan entered a guilty plea to stomping and kicking a motorist.

He also pled guilty in Simpson County Court to aggravated assault involving claims that he had sex with a 14 year old.

Judge Bramlette asked Barlow how he thought it was possible for that his unlawful conduct to go undiscovered

He expects the former law officer to answer at sentencing.

Barlow's sentencing is scheduled for March 25th.

He also faces a civil suit filed by one of the victims.

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