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Feds hand Presgraves his second indictment

Latest of charges accuses former sheriff of lying to FBI

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- Former Page County Sheriff Daniel W. "Danny" Presgraves' legal troubles just got worse.

A second federal indictment was handed down against him this week.

On Tuesday, a grand jury sitting in Abingdon handed down the single-count indictment.

It is the second time a federal grand jury in Abingdon has indicted the once-popular sheriff.

The latest charge accuses Presgraves of lying to an FBI agent, specifically that he "represented that the only inmates who worked at his residence actually worked for 'RM,' when in truth and fact, as [Presgraves] well knew, this representation was false."

A 22-count indictment was certified against Presgraves last October.

It charges him with violating federal racketeering laws, money laundering, two counts of mail fraud, two counts of conspiracy related to a cockfighting operation, two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, four counts of obstructing a federal grand jury investigation, six counts of obstructing a law enforcement investigation and four counts of violating the civil rights of female subordinates working for the Page County Sheriff's Office.

If Presgraves, who is scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg starting Sept. 16, is convicted of all 22 counts, he faces a maximum sentence of more than 300 years in prison.

The latest indictment is more or less a housekeeping move, according to Brian P. McGinn, public affairs specialist with the U.S. attorney's office for the Western District of Virginia.

Prior to trial, prosecutors often file a superseding indictment clearing up language in some counts of the original indictment and correcting any mistakes, he said in a Wednesday e-mail. In Presgraves' case, his first indictment included two counts of lying to a federal agent, and this is an additional count.

Filing a second indictment, rather than a superseding one, means prosecutors don't have to re-present the entire indictment to a grand jury, McGinn said. He expected the indictments to be merged into one case.

McGinn also declined to say if the "RM" in the recent indictment refers to Maj. Russell Montgomery, Presgraves' brother-in-law, who had served as acting sheriff following Presgraves' arrest. McGinn said he's not allowed to make an identification.

Presgraves resigned from office -- he had been re-elected last November -- in February.

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