- Associated Press - Sunday, February 25, 2018

FESSENDEN, N.D. (AP) - A former North Dakota sheriff who is facing charges for dealing drugs and bribery has agreed to plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor counts.

The Daily News reports that 42-year-old Johnny Zip Lawson agreed to the deal during a telephonic hearing with District Court Judge Daniel Narum. Narum rejected an earlier plea deal calling for the former Wells County sheriff to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor.

Prosecutors will drop felony charges of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and bribery, and one of three misdemeanor charges, although it’s not clear which one. Those charges are false reports to law enforcement or other security officials, public servant refusing to perform duty and ingesting a controlled substance.

Lawson’s attorney, Peter Welte, did not respond to an email message on Sunday.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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