EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Thirteen of the 22 people indicted on charges of participating in a sports gambling and drug ring operated from the Edgefield federal prison have pleaded guilty, officials said Monday.
The remaining 9 people will face a jury Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Strom Thurmond Jr. said six people entered pleas before U.S. District Court Judge Joe Anderson on Friday. Six others pleaded guilty two weeks ago.
The alleged ringleader of the gambling scheme, inmate David Crews, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of laundering profits made from the betting. He also pleaded guilty to four drug distribution and possession charges, one drug smuggling charge and 10 counts of engaging in illegal sports betting, Mr. Thurmond said.
Prosecutors said Mr. Crews, 41, used his mother,of Winston-Salem, N.C., and others to get drugs from Puerto Rico into the prison, where Mr. Crews and other inmates would distribute them.
In the original indictment handed up in May, Mr. Crews' father is accused of providing betting lines and odds for the gambling operation.
Parents Jerry and Betty Crews await trial.
On Friday, two other inmates entered guilty pleas. Robert Medina, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling heroin into a federal prison.
Raymond Clay, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana.
Mr. Medina and Mr. Clay face a $2 million fine and 20 years in prison. Mr. Crews faces $4.5 million in fines and a maximum of life in prison.
David Campbell, a 25-year-old nephew of one of the prison's inmates, helped recruit the individuals who brought the drugs to inmates during visits and also helped launder money, prosecutors said.
The Eastover resident pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana and one count of money laundering. He faces $2.5 million in fines and 20 years in prison.
Others who pleaded guilty Friday:
All those who pleaded guilty will face sentencing after reports are written by probation officials.
Reach Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.