A South Carolina jury indicted a senior Chester County official on narcotics manufacturing and trafficking charges. The 47-year-old man served as Chester County supervisor until he was suspended by Governor Henry McMaster on Sept. 24, 2020. In total, he faces four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge and could be sent to prison for up to 85 years if he is convicted on all counts.
A 32-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman have also been taken into custody and charged in connection with the alleged methamphetamine trafficking scheme. The man is also a former Chester County official.
County vehicles were used
According to prosecutors, the man and his alleged accomplices used vehicles bearing county seals to transport drugs because they did not believe the police would stop them. They are said to have used county vehicles to move drugs in and out of York and Chester Counties on at least three occasions. In addition to narcotics charges, the man faces a count of official misconduct for allegedly stealing catalytic converters from official vehicles.
Multi-agency investigation completed
Agencies that took part in the investigation into the man’s alleged criminal activities include the Chester County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The attorney general thanked law enforcement in a press statement released to announce the indictment, but he did not reveal what had led police to suspect that the man was manufacturing and distributing controlled substances. The charges levied suggest that prosecutors believe he transported 400 or more grams of methamphetamine on at least one occasion.
Search warrants issued
The most important evidence in cases like this one is often discovered when police officers execute search warrants. Judges only grant search warrants when police have good reason to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be found.
Search warrants clearly specify what officers can search for and where they can look. When the probable cause supporting a search warrant application is questionable or the searching officers ignore restrictions that were put into place by the issuing judge, experienced criminal defense attorneys could seek to have the search ruled illegal and any drug charges stemming from it dismissed.