OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced Thursday that the Fifteenth Multicounty Grand Jury returned an accusation of removal for Wagoner County Sheriff Robert Steven Colbert. Additionally, the grand jury indicted Colbert and Deputy Jeffrey T. Gragg on bribery and extortion charges.
The Multicounty Grand Jury issued the accusation of removal based on counts of extortion, willful neglect of duty, and failure to produce and account for all public funds in his hands at a settlement required by law. The accusation for removal also requests the District Court to order the immediate suspension of Colbert from his duties as Wagoner County sheriff pending trial.
Colbert and Gragg are alleged to have conspired together to bribe two individuals, taking $10,000 in exchange for not pursuing drug charges.
Gragg performed a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Torell Wallace and a 17-year-old passenger. During the traffic stop, Gragg conducted a search of the vehicle in which he found $10,000 in cash, of which Wallace and the passenger both claimed ownership. Wallace and the passenger were arrested for possession of drug proceeds. After being taken to the Wagoner County Jail, Colbert and Gragg accepted a bribe from Wallace and the passenger when Wallace disclaimed any interest in the cash. They were then released and their records were deleted. The cash was placed in a Sheriff’s Drug Forfeiture account with the Wagoner County Treasurer’s Office.
Colbert and Gragg each face three charges. The first charge is one count of conspiracy to receive a bribe, or in the alternative, conspiracy to extort induced by threats. The second charge is for receiving a bribe, or in the alternative, one count of extortion induced by threats. The third charge is extortion induced by threats.
If convicted, Colbert and Gragg could each face up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
The Multicounty Grand Jury has jurisdiction to investigate criminal matters in all 77 counties, assisting local law enforcement as well as handling matters of state interest. The grand jurors meet regularly to hear testimony in the matters being considered by the grand jury. The proceedings are closed to the public.