JACKSON, Miss.—Marshand Crisler will continue his campaign for Hinds County Sheriff even after a federal grand jury indicted him on federal charges for soliciting bribes and providing ammunition to a convicted felon late last week. The Democratic candidate faces up to 20 years in prison.
Crisler, a former Jackson City Council member who ran for mayor in 2009, pleaded not guilty to the charges during his appearance before Federal Magistrate Judge LaKeysha Greer Isaac Thursday, April 27. She released him on a $10,000 bond pending a July 12 trial.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors appointed Crisler as the interim sheriff after former Sheriff Lee Vance died in 2021. He lost an election for the position later that year, and the same board appointed him to serve as the Henley-Young Juvenile Detention Center director, a position he later resigned from in February 2023 after filing to run for sheriff again.
“According to court documents, Crisler, 54, of Jackson, is charged with having solicited and accepted thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for agreeing to pass information concerning criminal investigations to the person who paid the bribes,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in its press release announcing the indictments on April 27. “Crisler also allegedly agreed to protect a jailed family member of that person and agreed to award employment with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office to that person.”
“These actions are alleged to have taken place during Crisler’s previous unsuccessful campaign for Hinds County Sheriff in 2021,” the press release continues. “The indictment also alleges that Crisler gave ammunition to a person he knew to be a convicted felon. It is against federal law for a public official to solicit or accept bribes. It is also against federal law to provide firearm ammunition to a known convicted felon.”
After his initial appearance, Crisler told reporters he has no plans to drop out of the race and is still set to face incumbent Tyree Jones in a Democratic primary on Aug. 8. He offered no further comments.
His lawyer, John Colette, told the press he was surprised at the allegations and is waiting for the further release of information during discovery. He called Crisler a “good guy” that he has known for “a long time” and said, “We’ll just have to see how this unfolds.”
“A little surprised at the allegation. I’ve known him for a while. We’ve just had to see what the government purports to have,” Colette said after the indictment on April 27. “Saying something and proving something are two different things. Let’s just look at it that way.”
You can read the indictment here.