Coffee County , FL -- The late Coffee County Sheriff Carlton Evans
deputies to provide protection for marijuana growers in exchange for a third of their profits , according to recently unsealed federal court documents.
Those payoffs were to have been split between the former sheriff , Evans' younger brother , Sage Evans , and three other members of the sheriff's department , court records show.
Seven men , including two former officers in the Coffee County Sheriff's Department , have pleaded guilty to conspiring to grow more than 100 marijuana plants as part of a scheme in which Carlton Evans
and others were indicted last year.The late sheriff fled his
home and shot himself to death when federal and state agents tried to arrest him Oct. 3 on drug charges stemming from a yearlong investigation.
Maj. Benjamin Hodge , 38 , who was Evans' chief deputy , and Lt.
Where is the hard evidence , the recorded conversation with Carlton Evans
and any evidence that he benefited'' from illegal activity? , Wiggins said.
Instead of seizing the marijuana and conducting an investigation , Carlton Evans
instructed Hodge to harvest the marijuana.
The proceeds of the sales was divided among Hodge , Harper , Carlton Evans and Sage Evans
, Lee said in his plea agreement.