Ex-SC sheriff faces hearing on drug charges

In this mug shot provided by the Lexington County Sherriff's Department on Monday, May 3, 2010, former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin is shown. Marvin and six others were arrested Saturday, May 1, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of powder cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. (AP Photo/Lexington County Sherriff's Department)

COLUMBIA - A former South Carolina sheriff charged with drug distribution is to appear in federal court in Columbia for a detention hearing.

Prosecutors this afternoon will ask that former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin be held until his trial. They plan to play tapes of ominous threats recorded when they wiretapped Melvin's phone last month.

He's been in jail since his arrest Saturday. Melvin is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of powder cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. If convicted, he faces at least 10 years in prison and could face up to life behind bars.

Six others have been charged, none work for the sheriff's department.

Melvin had been sheriff since 2001 but resigned shortly after his arrest.

More

Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

... Read more