WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Loretta King and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma Sheldon J. Sperling announced today that Ben Milner, a former deputy sheriff with the Choctaw County, Okla., Sheriff’s Department, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the civil rights of a man during a traffic stop and the civil rights of two inmates at the Choctaw County Jail. The grand jury also indicted Milner on two counts of obstructing justice in connection with the incident involving the inmates.
The indictment charges that on or about Oct. 31, 2005, Milner, then a sheriff’s deputy of the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Department, assaulted an individual causing him bodily harm. The indictment also charges that on or about Oct. 18, 2007, Milner assaulted two inmates at the Choctaw County Jail, causing them bodily harm. Finally, the indictment charges that on or about Oct. 18 and 19, 2007, Milner wrote reports relating to the assaults against the inmates in which he provided false justification for the force he used against them. If convicted, Milner faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each excessive force count and 20 years on each count of obstruction of justice. Each count also carries up to three years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.
The charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This matter was investigated by Special Agent Jeffrey Youngblood of the Oklahoma City Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Burris for the Eastern District of Oklahoma and Trial Attorneys Roy Conn III and Michael Khoury of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.