LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A state legislator and three others in Crittenden Countyhave beencharged with conspiracy to commit election fraud.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice say this is the first known use of the Travel Act to bring charges for vote-buying in a purely local election.

Those charged include state representative for District 54 Hudson Hallum, 29; his father Kent Hallum, 53; West Memphis city councilman Phillip Wayne Carter, 43; and West Memphis police officer Sam Malone, 32.

Officials say that in addition to waiving indictment, the defendants entered guilty pleas to the charge. By doing so, each of the men say they were involved in a "conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes" in the District 54 primary, its runoff, and the general election.

District 54 includes the cities of West Memphis, Marion, Earle, and Turrell.

According to officials, the maximum statutory penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison, plus a possible fine of $250,000.

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