VETERAN LAWMAN GETS JAIL TIME ON CORRUPTION CHARGE
|| By FITSNEWS || A federal judge has sentenced disgraced South Carolina sheriff James Metts to one year in jail for his role in a corruption scandal – despite the best efforts of prosecutors to cut the veteran lawman a sweetheart plea deal.
Now Metts runs the risk of becoming someone’s sweetheart … behind bars.
U.S. district court judge Terry Wooten sentenced the longtime Lexington County sheriff to jail time after previously rejecting a probationary deal cut by the office of U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.
“The guidelines do not call for a probationary sentence,” Wooten said at the time. “Conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens is a serious charge.”
Indeed it is … and Metts will now do time on that charge, even though he broke down in tears before Wooten – telling the judge he “wouldn’t come out alive” if he was forced to go to jail.
Should have thought about that earlier …
Assuming he behaves himself in prison, Metts could be transferred to a halfway house after six months and serve the remainder of his sentence there. He’ll be on probation for at least two years after that – and will also be required to pay a $10,000 fine.
Metts was indicted in June by federal authorities for accepting bribes in exchange for using “his position, power, and influence as Sheriff to interfere with the proper identification and processing of certain illegal aliens detained at the Lexington County (detention center).”
He originally pleaded not guilty to the charges – and vigorously protested his innocence. Four other individuals have been indicted at the state level 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.
Meanwhile five of Metts’ subordinates were fired from their posts in the aftermath of the indictment.
We believe Wooten deserves tremendous credit for holding Metts accountable. In an era of selective justice, it’s nice to see at least one judge holding a powerful, well-connected politico to task for his violation of the public trust.