MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Former Rutherford County Sheriff Chief Administrative Deputy Joe L. Russell, II has been sentenced to 15 months.
Reports stated the 50-year-old of Murfreesboro received the sentence Thursday on federal corruption charges. The charges stemmed from his role in operating a private electronic cigarette company in the county jail. Authorities said the operation was for personal gain.
That operation involved Russell and former Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold, along with Arnold’s uncle, John Vanderveer.
All three were named in a 14-count indictment in May 2016 that charged them with honest services fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery concerning federal programs, extortion under color of official right, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.
On January 20, Russell pleaded guilty. He admitted to forming the operation, JailCigs, with Arnold and Vanderveer in 2013.
Russell was ordered to pay $52,500 in restitution and to forfeit $52,234.41, an amount which equaled all proceeds he received from JailCigs, LLC.
Arnold also pled guilty in January. He was sentenced in May to 50 months in prison and was ordered to pay $52,500 in restitution, along with forfeiting $66,790.
Vanderveer was sentenced in September to one year plus one day.