United States

Ex-Indiana Sheriff Sentenced on Bribery, Fraud Charges

A former sheriff of Indiana's second most-populous county was sentenced to 188 months in prison Tuesday on bribery and wire fraud charges.

Federal prosecutors asked that John Buncich be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from towing businesses. 

Buncich was removed from office as Lake County sheriff after a jury convicted him in August of bribery and wire fraud charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson asked in a court filing that Buncich be taken into custody immediately after his Jan. 16 sentencing hearing. 

Benson argued Buncich's conduct was "a calculated abuse of power over a prolonged period of time for personal enrichment." 

Defense attorney Bryan Truitt didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. 

Buncich is a Democrat who was elected in 2015 to his fourth term as sheriff. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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