SC’s Longest Serving Sheriff is Indicted

Published by
June 1, 2014

South Carolina’s longest-serving sheriff, James “Jimmie” Metts was indicted by a federal grand jury in Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday. The indictment alleges that Sheriff Metts accepted bribes from friends in return for using his position, power, and influence as sheriff to interfere with the proper identification and processing of illegal immigrants detained at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Danny Frazier, 46, and Greg Leon, 47, both of Lexington, have been charged by the State Grand Jury with bribing Metts. Frazier is a former town councilman and Leon owns several restaurants in the area.

“Public corruption at any level will not be tolerated,” said U. S. Attorney Bill Nettles.  “These indictments are a product of a new team at the United States Attorney’s Office whose goal is to use an unprecedented level of cooperation with state and federal agencies in routing out public corruption and returning public trust to the people.”

Metts was charged with several crimes, including conspiracy to violate federal law and interfere with government function, use of interstate facility to facilitate bribery, use of interstate wire to defraud the citizens of Lexington County of their right to honest services and conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens.

The charge of conspiracy to violate federal law and interfere with government function carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine; each charge of use of interstate facility to facilitate bribery carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine; each charge of use of interstate wire to defraud the citizens of Lexington county of their right to honest services carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine; and the charge of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

The indictments were the work of a long multi-agency investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; State Law Enforcement Division and South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

You can read the indictment here: Metts Indictment

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