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HARRISBURG — Former Trumann Police Chief Tony Rusher has pleaded guilty to a drug charge as part of a plea deal that allows him to avoid a prison sentence.

The Jonesboro Sun reported that Rusher pleaded guilty Monday to a count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and was given a 60-month suspended sentence provided that he testifies against former Trumann police detective Erik Willbanks in the case.

Rusher resigned in February 2012 and Willbanks was fired the following month after an investigation into the theft of prescription drugs from the police department evidence room.

Willbanks has pleaded innocent and has said that Rusher asked him for prescription painkillers from the evidence room that were scheduled to be destroyed. Willbanks' trial is scheduled for Jan. 13-17 in Harrisburg.

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