A Missouri sheriff and two of his deputies were arrested Thursday for allegedly helping a man in a kidnapping plot.
Iron County Sheriff Jeff Burkett, and deputies Matthew Cozad and Chase Bresnahan were charged along with the father they allegedly were trying to help, Donald Gatson.
Court documents said that Gaston sought the three officials' help last month while trying to take his daughter from her mother's custody.
Burkett, a Republican, is accused of lying to a police dispatcher telling them that the mother kidnapped the girl and put her in danger.
He and his deputies also helped Gaston track the woman's location through her cell phone, prosecutors alleged.
All four defendants were charged with criminal street gang activity. Gaston faces additional charges of attempted parental kidnapping while Burkett, 46, was charged with attempted kidnapping, and being an accessory to stalking among other counts.
The sheriff's lawyer, Gabe Crocker claimed that the charges against his client were politically motivated.
“This is small-town politics. This is the continuation of a long gestation effort to remove this sheriff from office.”