Prison term ordered for former Democratic strategist

ST. LOUIS | A former Democratic strategist has been sentenced to prison for federal firearms and bank fraud convictions.

The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis said Friday that Milton “Skip” Ohlsen III, 38, will serve 30 months. Ohlsen, who pleaded guilty in May, also must pay restitution of $99,871.

His attorney Paul D'Agrosa did not immediately return a call for comment.

The criminal case was unrelated to a federal investigation that led to the resignations of two Democratic state legislators.

Federal court documents identified Ohlsen as having approached former state Sen. Jeff Smith's congressional campaign in July 2004 and offered to produce and distribute negative ads aimed at his opponent, Russ Carnahan.

Smith approved the plan, former Rep. Steve Brown raised money for the effort, and aides provided Ohlsen negative information about Carnahan to use in the ads.

The two Democrats pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resigned in August. Both await sentencing.