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Anderson Inmate Labor Scandal: Missing Gun

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SERVICE WEAPON REPORTEDLY UNACCOUNTED FOR …

A brewing inmate labor scandal at the Anderson County, S.C. detention center just jumped to a higher energy level …

Multiple sources familiar with this unfolding story – which broke exclusively on FITSNews last week – tell us the case involves a missing sheriff’s department service weapon.  The weapon in question is alleged to have gone missing shortly before Garry Bryant – a sheriff’s captain who ran the detention center for the past decade – saw his employment at the facility come to an abrupt end last week.  News of Bryant’s sudden departure from the sheriff’s department was first reported by Nikie Mayo of The (Anderson, S.C.) Independent-Mail.

As we noted in our original coverage, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) previously investigated inmate labor in Anderson County as it related to the “servicing of vehicles.”  This case was closed last December when local prosecutors decided they couldn’t make a case against those accused.

SLED has been asked to probe the latest allegations, too, which according to our sources involve “using inmate labor for profit.”  As of this writing the agency has yet to decide whether to launch such an investigation.

According to our sources, the weapon in question was allegedly taken from “a patrol car that a trustee was working on.”

“It was still missing at the beginning of this week,” the source added.

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So far none of this information has been confirmed by the sheriff’s office – which is run by recently elected lawman Chad McBride.

“I can’t comment on that, I haven’t heard anything about that,” an agency spokeswoman told us, promising to refer our inquiry to McBride.

McBride handily defeated former Anderson County sheriff John Skipper in last June’s “Republican” primary election.  He was subsequently elected in November with no Democratic opposition.  According to our sources, he was made aware of the inmate labor issues prior to taking office – including inmates performing work on deputies’ personal vehicles.

As we noted in our original coverage of this story, inmate labor scandals are sadly quite commonplace in South Carolina, having led to the indictment and resignation of several county sheriffs in recent years.

Anderson County’s detention center is located just outside the county seat of Anderson, S.C.  It currently houses an estimated 400 inmates.

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