An Italian citizen charged as part of a cocaine conspiracy that included former South Carolina state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was in custody Friday after more than three years on the run, federal authorities said Friday.
Charleston-area wine expert Pasquale Pellicoro (pass-KWAL'-ee PEL'-uh-koh-roh) was arrested late Thursday in Belfort, France, the FBI said. It was not clear when Pellicoro would return to the United States, and court records did not list an attorney for him.
Pellicoro, 56, had been on the run since mid-2007, when he failed to appear for a court hearing on a drug conspiracy charge. Authorities said Pellicoro was one of several people who supplied cocaine for Ravenel between January 2005 and June 2007, and prosecutors have said information provided by Ravenel led to Pellicoro's indictment.
Ravenel, 48, resigned as treasurer shortly after he was indicted with drug conspiracy in June 2007, just five months after taking office. The multimillionaire land developer pleaded guilty to buying cocaine for himself and to share with friends, saying he first tried the drug nearly 30 years previously and used it more frequently as his political career escalated.
Prosecutors did not dispute that the Republican, who spent time in two rehabilitation facilities after his indictment, bought the drug to share with friends and never actually sold it himself. Ravenel was released from a halfway house in March 2009 and relocated to New York City before moving back to South Carolina.