JACKSON, Mississippi -- Court records say a former Mississippi police chief intends to plead guilty in a federal bribery and extortion case in which he is accused of demanding money or property in exchange for dropping criminal charges against people.
A filing Wednesday said former Mendenhall Police Chief Donald "Bruce" Barlow, who was arrested in March, is scheduled for a change of plea hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Jackson. Barlow is charged with 17 counts, including bribery and witness intimidation.
Barlow's lawyer did not immediately respond to phone and email messages on Wednesday.
He had previously pleaded not guilty. The indictment says Barlow instructed "his officers to seize cash at every arrest, including money from people arrested for misdemeanors."
Prosecutors say some people were lured into the city of about 2,500 residents, 25 miles south of Jackson, so they could be arrested.
Barlow sometimes made people sign over their vehicles in exchange for him dropping charges and also demanded cash payments, in one case $4,500, according to court records.
In one case in January 2010, Barlow made someone sign over his car and pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for the charges to be dropped "like none of this ever happened," the indictment said.
Barlow gave the car to one of his officers to use as a personal vehicle and told the officer to use a department fuel card for gas purchases for the car, the indictment said.
Barlow demanded money "purporting to be contributions to the police department's 'drug fund.'" If the payment was in cash, the money rarely made it to the drug fund, court records said.
After learning of the federal investigation, Barlow tried to create and back-date an inventory list of the property he had taken and took money purported to be for the drug fund to Mendenhall City Hall for deposit, the indictment said.