Thomas Ravenel indicted

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COLUMBIA -- South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was indicted Tuesday on one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute it.

Mr. Ravenel has been suspended from his duties.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Mr. Ravenel has been suspended from his duties.

Gov. Mark Sanford immediately suspended him and pledged to name an interim treasurer as soon as possible.

"Given the grave nature of these charges and what is alleged in this indictment, we're left with no choice but to suspend Treasurer Ravenel immediately," Mr. Sanford said in a prepared statement. "These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts."

The treasurer oversees the state's banking and investments. As one of the five members of the Budget and Control board, Mr. Ravenel also plays a key role in approving state contracts and other financial decisions.

U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said Mr. Ravenel bought less than 500 grams of cocaine from Michael L. Miller of Mount Pleasant, who also was indicted. But Mr. Ravenel did not sell any drugs, Mr. Lloyd said.

Mr. Ravenel and Mr. Miller face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Mr. Ravenel was indicted as part of an ongoing investigation into cocaine-related activity in Charleston that began more than a year ago, authorities said. By April, there was enough information to begin building a case against Mr. Ravenel, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said. At that time, the investigation was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to avoid any appearance of conflict, because the Budget and Control Board makes decisions that affect SLED, Chief Stewart said.

Mr. Ravenel has been seen as a rising star in the South Carolina Republican Party since he defeated longtime Democratic treasurer Grady Patterson in November.

Mr. Ravenel also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004.

News of the indictment spread quickly through the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon, with House and Senate members huddling in groups to discuss the latest details.

"I'm hoping for the best," Mr. Ravenel's friend Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said. "I've never seen anything like that type of activity from him, so I find it very surprising." Mr. Ravenel had been serving as the state campaign chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. But on Tuesday the campaign said Mr. Ravenel had "stepped down" from his duties.

A millionaire former real estate developer, Mr. Ravenel is the son of Arthur Ravenel Jr., who served in the Statehouse and Congress. Thomas Ravenel will have to come to court for a July 9 arraignment hearing, at which time bond will be set and he will be able to enter a plea.

Mr. Miller is in state custody on a charge of trafficking cocaine, but may be transferred into federal custody, Mr. Lloyd said.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611.

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streetandtrail_girl
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streetandtrail_girl 06/20/07 - 06:15 am
0
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i guess it does not matter

i guess it does not matter where you come from or where you go, drugs are everywhere.

streetandtrail_girl
0
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streetandtrail_girl 06/20/07 - 06:15 am
0
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i guess it does not matter

i guess it does not matter where you come from or where you go, drugs are everywhere.

naugliberal
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naugliberal 06/20/07 - 06:23 am
0
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I will bet you dollars to

I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that he ran on family values.

Georgiais1
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Georgiais1 06/20/07 - 07:31 am
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A millionair selling

A millionair selling cocane....Makes you wonder what else he was gettig away with. The judge should have no mercy on someone like this.

lawyerdude
29
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lawyerdude 06/20/07 - 07:41 am
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We had a good, honest

We had a good, honest Democrat as Treasurer, but he was cast aside in favor of a young handsome Republican. I suppose it takes cocaine to maintain such an image.

Edward B. Turner
69
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Edward B. Turner 06/20/07 - 08:40 am
0
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The son of another crooked

The son of another crooked politician is a crook, too.....It's the same old song and dance.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 06/20/07 - 08:50 am
0
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I do not agree with any drug

I do not agree with any drug use but the US Attorney said he did not sell any even though he was charged. The Governer did the right thing.

Reality
3
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Reality 06/20/07 - 09:25 am
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A pound of cocaine must cost

A pound of cocaine must cost a lot of money....There is no room for these type of people trying to do our official business for us as tax payers.That is a lot of personal use.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 06/20/07 - 10:10 am
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Honest it's not a pound it

Honest it's not a pound it states he "bought less than 500 grams " that could mean he bought a single hit.

EMMACB
0
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EMMACB 06/20/07 - 10:15 am
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A background check needs to

A background check needs to be done for the entire family. He probably received his millions from sales as a street pharmacist. All his personal assests should be seized and given to the homeless.

FedupwithAUG
0
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FedupwithAUG 06/20/07 - 10:35 am
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If that were the case EMMACB

If that were the case EMMACB and they did that for everyone cought with drugs there would only be homeless drug dealers. So Stupid.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 06/20/07 - 10:45 am
0
0
Is less than 500 grams some

Is less than 500 grams some sort of bench mark? I take it to mean that it was around that amount but not over 500 grams. I am sure it wasn't 1 gram or it would have been stated that way.....

goodkarma for SC
0
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goodkarma for SC 06/20/07 - 11:00 am
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South Carolina's Republican

South Carolina's Republican Sec of Agriculture got caught protecting and participating in (roosters/chicken) fighting. THIS time it's Rudy Guiliani's campaign head AND Republican South Carolina State Treasurer that's up on charges of intent to distribute cocaine!

South Carolina Republican elected state officials are establishing a pattern of corruption and abuse of power to coincide with their national co-conspirators. When will the South Carolina and for that matter, the national voters wise up to that fact?

And now Gov Sanford's talking about making that carpetbagger Ryberg the interim Treasurer while ignoring Grady Patterson's over 30 years of service???!

South Carolina, my home state....where we rank at the bottom in SAT scores, pay per capita....but TOPS in GOP voting....related? You be the judge.

weekapaug05
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weekapaug05 06/20/07 - 11:17 am
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500 grams is a lot of cocain.

500 grams is a lot of cocain. The street value of that is $25,000 if the grams were sold individually for $50 a pop. So not Fedup that's not like a hit ... that's like 20 a Scarface nosedives into a mound of cocain. This guy definately needs to be in jail. If that's not intent to distribute I don't know what is. In some cases it only takes one gram used in 12 hr period to kill a person.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 06/20/07 - 11:20 am
0
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Again, some on this site are

Again, some on this site are a trip. You want to hang Marion Williams because he said he had something. But with this man, its ' ONLY 500 grams" I wonder if you would be saying the same thing, if it was some meth or crack head off the streets.

ThinkFirst
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ThinkFirst 06/20/07 - 11:27 am
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Although they don't say

Although they don't say exactly how much cocaine Ravenel had, it had to be more than just a few grams if the indictment is for possession with intent to sell. (BTW, one pound = 454 grams.) SC sure doesn't need someone with such incredibly bad and possibly impaired judgment in charge of the state's money.

gagirl40
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gagirl40 06/20/07 - 12:06 pm
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ThinkFirst, I was going to

ThinkFirst, I was going to say the same thing. 500 grams is a little over one POUND! (1.1 pound to me more exact) A POUND of cocaine is A HUGE AMOUNT! And to follow the line of other posters, had this been a DEMOCRAT they wouldn't be saying just a few grams, they would be screaming about how MUCH he bought. And notice in the article it doesn't state that he's a Republican until the eighth paragraph. In other words, had this been a Dem. the Chronicle wouldn't have just said, "Mr. Ravenel bought less than 500 grams of cocaine", they would have led with "Democrat, So and So, Bought a Pound of Cocaine."

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 06/20/07 - 01:08 pm
0
0
Another fine example of

Another fine example of Republican values. GOP: Grand Old Police blotter.

jmoval0315
2
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jmoval0315 06/20/07 - 01:13 pm
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Suspended?

Suspended?

jmoval0315
2
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jmoval0315 06/20/07 - 01:19 pm
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I bet he had the good stuff.

I bet he had the good stuff. lol

Rose
17
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Rose 06/20/07 - 01:35 pm
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It does not matter if they

It does not matter if they are democrat or republican. If they break the law, they should be punished.

mgray
0
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mgray 06/20/07 - 01:54 pm
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Crime is crime - he didn't

Crime is crime - he didn't sell cocaine because of his party affiliation people. He sold it for the $$$$$.

critter
2
Points
critter 06/20/07 - 02:19 pm
0
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Probably considered himself

Probably considered himself tough on crime, too.....y'know, I originally thought they meant less than HALF a gram of cocaine, but 500 grams???? 'Course, being the good businessman that he is, I'm sure he knows that buying anything in larger quantity usually gets you a better price per unit (except for sugar, for some strange reason.) Maybe he was just buying in bulk, getting stocked up for the year and saving a fortune in gas since he wouldn't have to be making a run to the street corner dealer all the time. :)

owensjef
13
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owensjef 06/20/07 - 02:23 pm
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0
LOL @ critter

LOL @ critter

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 06/20/07 - 02:23 pm
0
0
LOL @ critter

LOL @ critter

native
1
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native 06/20/07 - 02:35 pm
0
0
America is falling apart. We

America is falling apart. We are falling apart from within. Every generation of politicians is worse than the previous.

bayouboogie
0
Points
bayouboogie 06/20/07 - 03:06 pm
0
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Thomas Ravenel and (GA) Rep.

Thomas Ravenel and (GA) Rep. Ben Harbin were probably planning a big party? Ben brought the "booze" and Tom was buying the "coke". Let's face it Ravenel won't see too much of Club FED. (jail) He has too much going for him. 1 He's wealthy and 2 He knows lots of people with power and pull to help him.

bayouboogie
0
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bayouboogie 06/20/07 - 03:11 pm
0
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If he didn't have money and

If he didn't have money and status he would be in jail right now.

Reality
3
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Reality 06/20/07 - 03:15 pm
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A $1,000,000 fine is a step

A $1,000,000 fine is a step in the right direction.........

owensjef
13
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owensjef 06/20/07 - 03:21 pm
0
0
LOL @ bayou

LOL @ bayou

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