Lexington Sheriff Pleads “Not Guilty”
JAMES METTS REMAINS FREE ON $100,000 BOND
Lexington, S.C. Sheriff James Metts – indicted last month by federal prosecutors - pleaded not guilty to charges that he accepted bribes in exchange for granting special privileges to illegal immigrants.
The veteran lawman – who served as Lexington Sheriff for more than four decades – entered his plea at the Matthew J. Perry federal court house in downtown Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday.
He appeared alongside his wife and his attorney, Sherri Lydon – who proclaimed Metts’ innocence after he was slapped with a ten-count indictment last month.
Metts’ bond was set at $100,000 – a figure Lydon viewed as excessive. Additionally the judge in the case – federal magistrate Shiva Hodges – ordered the complaint against the Sheriff sealed.
Four other individuals have been indicted by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson for their roles in the “Lexington Ring,” a cabal of crooked cops and corrupt politicians that was relentlessly exposed in 2012-13 by this website.
For those of you new to this site, members of the “Lexington Ring” have been accused of running an illegal video poker operation based out of Lexington County, S.C. Apparently they had their fingers in other pies as well …
And prosecutors familiar with the case tell FITS this is just the tip of the iceberg …
Details of the ring – including the mechanics of its operation and the cops and politicians it had on “lockdown” – were revealed in August 2012 thanks to audio recordings of part-time LCSD employee (and Lexington, S.C. town councilman) Danny Frazier.
Frazier was indicted by Wilson – along with South Congaree Police Chief Jason Amodio, who was specifically accused in the state indictment of accepting payment “in return for seized gaming machines.”
FITS was the first media outlet in the state to report on a joint state-federal raid of Amodio’s offices in May 2013 – noting that Amodio was one of the corrupt lawmen mentioned by Frazier in the audio recordings as providing protection for video poker machines run by the “Ring.”
Metts is currently suspended from office pending the outcome of the charges against him.
As we’ve noted from the beginning of our coverage of the “Ring,” we continue to believe that all forms of gambling should be legalized in South Carolina. In fact these scandals have only heightened our resolve to integrate them into the free market – eliminating the current government-run gambling monopoly (as well as all of this backdoor corruption).
In fact we wrote on this very subject just this week …