TOLEDO — Federal prosecutors have recommended a prison term of between 151-188 months for former Allen County Sheriff Samuel Crish.
Crish, 56, will find out Thursday in federal court in Toledo if the judge agrees with that recommendation, which roughly translates to 12½ to 15½ years behind bars.
U.S. District Court Judge James Carr is not bound by the recommendation contained in the sentencing memorandum filed earlier this month by U.S. Attorneys Justin Herdman and Gene Crawford.
Crish, 56, who served eight years as sheriff and was elected three times, admitted in federal court in March of this year to taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from people arrested in prostitution stings and also to allegations that he hired a woman as a nurse at the Allen County jail based solely on the fact that she made interest-free loans to him totaling more than $22,000.
In their recommendations to the court, Herdman and Crawford ask the judge to order Crish to make restitution totaling $606,221 to the victims in the case.
The attorneys noted that Crish, in his pre-sentence report objections, denies that one victim — identified as DL, who is included in the restitution amount agreed to in the plea agreement and who is the subject of the false statement conviction in Count 6 — is a victim of any offense committed by Crish.
“No one denies that Crish took money from victim DL; the dispute is over how much and what for,” Herdman and Crawford wrote in their memorandum. “During the investigation, agents discovered a text message exchange between Crish and victim DL that followed Crish’s pattern: he befriended a local resident (DL), the resident had a problem Crish would offer help with (a child custody issue), and Crish would later ask for a loan (a text message from Crish asking, ‘Do you have access to 25k?’).”
U.S. prosecutors and FBI agents on June 18, 2018, opened a six-count federal indictment against the former Allen County sheriff and took Crish into custody. His arrest came 21 months after FBI agents entered Crish’s office armed with a search warrant.
Crish resigned from office on Jan. 31, 2017, less than four months after the FBI raid.
The former sheriff was indicted on two federal counts of extortion, three counts of soliciting bribes and a single count of making a false statement to investigators.
The indictment alleged dealings between Crish and five separate Allen County residents who reportedly gave him cash in exchange for special considerations and illegal police protection.