Tommy Adams also faces state drug charges.
The Carter County sheriff says a man died after being bitten by a copperhead.
The elk are scheduled to arrive at the refuge area of Peck Ranch on May 18 from a capture site in eastern Kentucky.
Adams was arrested in April and resigned as sheriff a short time later.
Carter County Sheriff and chief deputy were both arrested in April.
A former Missouri sheriff is free on bond.
The 31 year-old is jailed on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
The state Conservation Commission has approved a plan to restore wild elk in a 346-square-mile protected zone.
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