Former Chester County sheriff, deputies sentenced on federal corruption charges

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A former Chester County sheriff was sentenced Monday to nearly 4 years after being convicted of abuse of power and other charges more than a year ago.

In April 2021, Alex Underwood was convicted of abusing his power and stealing money from government programs. He was also found guilty of unlawfully arresting a man, and of wire fraud.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents began investigating Underwood after he jailed a man for three days for no reason after the man recorded the aftermath of a police chase and wreck that happened near his home. Underwood created a false police report that said the man stepped out of his yard into the public roadway and cursed at police, according to indictments.

FBI agents would later find Underwood skimmed overtime meant for his deputies, used taxpayer money to fly first-class to a Las Vegas conference with his wife and then tried to cover up that she went and had on-duty deputies work to build a party barn at his home, even pulling officers away from drug stakeouts, prosecutors said.

A judge sentenced Underwood to 46 months in federal prison.

Two of Underwood’s deputies were also convicted. Former Chester Chief Deputy Robert Andrew Sprouse was sentenced to 24 months in prison on federal corruption charges. Former Deputy Johnny Neal received 46 months.

Underwood could receive up to five years in prison.


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