CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson is facing 18 federal charges, and next month - he faces the possibility of going to jail until he goes to trial.
However, if you go to that community, there are may who still support him .
Above all, they say, they want him to have a fair trial.
Mississippi County residents Adrienne Adams and Alberta Bishop spoke for the group of 22 that met with KFVS.
"I knew we needed a change in this community. Our community was overrun by drugs and we needed somebody who was going to step up and take control," Adams said.
"I felt it was much safer. A lot of the drugs were getting off the market, and I think he was just ready to get into some of the higher drug lords," Bishop said.
Both women say the 18 criminal charges brought by Attorney General Josh Hawley don't represent the Hutcheson they have known for years.
Adams believes if Hutcheson is convicted it would be devastating to their community.
"Back to square one, you know, hopeless. We know no progress will be made. He was the one making progress," Adams said.
Hutcheson is facing multiple civil suits, and Hawley opened a criminal investigation into the death of Tory Sanders at the Mississippi County Jail earlier this month.
Hutcheson's supporters believe Hawley's public statements could influence the investigation into Sanders death.
"He put that out there in the media pledging justice to this man's family when not everything's back to make that decision yet. That puts a lot of pressure on the people that are doing the investigation to come to his conclusion," Adams said.
A group planned to protest the meeting to speak out against Hutcheson, but canceled at the last minute.
Hutcheson said in a statement that he appreciates the community standing behind him.