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FBI: Ex-SC sheriff dealt drugs from police SUV

May 3, 2010 6:37:00 PM - thestate.com
A South Carolina sheriff dealt drugs from his police SUV and when state and federal agents gave him a list of possible drug dealers in his county, he immediately started calling to tip them off or extort money to get them off the list, according to the FBI.

The FBI tapped then-Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin's phone starting in March, and caught him talking about how he was going to arrange for a traffic stop on a drug dealer, take some of the cocaine he expected to find for himself and use the rest as evidence, according to a a sworn statement from an FBI agent released Monday.

Melvin was arrested Saturday and remained in jail Monday after a preliminary hearing. Melvin resigned his office the day he was arrested.

Prosecutors told a federal judge they plan to ask that he remain behind bars until his trial because of some of the things he was overheard saying on his tapped phone.

"He made a number of statements that deeply concern the government," said prosecutor Mark Moore, who refused to elaborate before a bond hearing Wednesday.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)