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April 26, 2017

The state revoked former Rutherford County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Joe Russell's real estate license for not disclosing his JailCigs conviction in a timely matter.

A document from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance is reportedly dated March 17 and mentions the disciplinary action of the Real Estate Commission against Russell for "Failure to notify the commission within sixty (60) days of conviction." His license was associated with Lamb Realty in Murfreesboro doing business as Exit Realty.

Russell, who had served as the administration chief for co-defendant ex-sheriff Robert Arnold, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, honest services fraud and extortion on Jan. 20. Arnold pleaded guilty to the same charges on Jan. 18.

In 2016, the then Chief Administrative Deputy Joe Russell, and Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold were charged  with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, extortion, bribery, wire fraud, mail fraud and honest services fraud. The charges stem from the formation, marketing and operation of JailCigs, LLC and efforts to conceal and misrepresent the involvement of Arnold and Russell with the business, according to Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney in the case. As mentioned, both eventually plead guilty and Russell is awaiting sentencing. ..      

Former Rutherford County Chief Deputy Stripped of Real Estate License