STATE TROOPERS USED AS BODYGUARDS, ERRAND BOYS FOR CORRUPT VIDEO POKER RING
For years politicians at the S.C. State House have complained that the Palmetto State doesn’t have enough troopers on our highways … and now we may know one reason why.
According to multiple sources familiar with the “Lexington Ring” - an assemblage of corrupt politicians and crooked cops accused of running an illegal video poker operation based out of Lexington County, S.C. – numerous officers of the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) have been serving as bodyguards and errand boys for this corrupt cabal for the past decade.
The SCHP is a division of the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) – part of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet. The agency is no stranger to controversy, having endured a major sex scandal last year involving one of its top leaders (a saga that broke exclusively here on FITS).
FITS has now been able to confirm that it was an on-duty SCHP officer (in an unmarked vehicle) who served as a lookout for members of the “Lexington Ring” as they enjoyed the company of prostitutes at an orgy in Orangeburg County, S.C. in 2003. Details of this incident were related in a sworn statement by former Lexington County magistrate Jamie Lucas – a former member of the ring who attended the orgy along with S.C. Sen. Jakie Knotts (RINO-Lexington) and other elected officials.
Lucas claims in the statement that he did not recall “what agency or officer” met him and Knotts at the Orangeburg County location, although FITS has spoken with several sources familiar with the gathering who have confirmed that it was a SCHP officer.
“Jamie knew exactly what agency he was with,” one of our sources says.
Another source – a former Highway Patrolman – tells FITS that he was frequently instructed by his superiors to provide protection for members of the “ring” as they partied with prostitutes (and their mistresses) at the Southern Gentleman’s Club, a now-defunct strip joint located in Lexington County. Specifically, this patrolman says that he was tasked on more than one occasion with securing the entrance to the club’s VIP room so that members of the ring could enjoy themselves without being disturbed.
In addition to providing protection for these sex parties, SCHP officers have also allegedly been used repeatedly as errand boys by Lexington elected officials – including Danny Frazier, the town councilman who is at the heart of the ring’s mushrooming scandal.
Frazier was surreptitiously recorded on three hours of audio tapes that were provided to law enforcement and the media earlier this year by Lucas. He initially denied making the claims recorded on the tape, but later claimed he made the whole story up in an effort to appear influential.
On one occasion, our sources say that Frazier had a member of the SCHP transport a pair of University of South Carolina football tickets to an elected official who was partying at a parking facility near Williams-Brice Stadium. In another instance, Frazier allegedly dispatched a Highway Patrolman to fetch beer – and extra condiments – for a cookout that members of the “ring” were enjoying.
Numerous other examples of misappropriated law enforcement resources have been alleged – including the provision of transportation for call girls and mistresses of ring members. In fact FITS has spoken with one former “ring mistress” who alleges that she was frequently transported to her illicit liaisons by SCHP officers as well as officers of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD).
At this point, none of our sources have alleged that Highway Patrol personnel had any direct involvement in the gambling component of the “Lexington Ring,” although we wouldn’t be surprised if such allegations were forthcoming.
Ironically, it was Knotts who inserted language into the S.C. budget last year that required members of Haley’s security detail to stick to their official duties after it was revealed that the governor was using them to fetch drinks for her and her entourage at a golf tournament.
A spokesman for the Highway Patrol did not immediately respond to our request for comment regarding these allegations.