This week’s arrest of Florence County, South Carolina sheriff Kenney Boone – which was exclusively reported by our news outlet on Wednesday – was accompanied by an extensive search of the embattled lawman’s home.
That search was conducted by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – who began investigating Boone several months ago after his deputies complained to their superiors about “inappropriate things that were being done” within the Florence County sheriff’s office (FCSO).
Florence deputies say they have been cooperating with SLED ever since the matter was referred to the agency.
According to our sources, the search of Boone’s home proved … fruitful.
“Their house looks like it’s moving day,” a source familiar with the situation told us. “SLED is all over the place moving stuff out.”
While SLED agents were busy conducting their search in the upscale neighborhood where Boone lives, an embezzlement indictment presented in a Richland County, S.C. court room alleged that the 52-year-old sheriff used money from a federal narcotics fund to purchase “a variety of consumer type goods, including but not limited to bicycle equipment, groceries, coolers, baseball equipment, electronics or clothing.”
Sources tell us Boone is likely to face federal fraud charges in addition to the state-level charges filed against him this week in connection with these alleged misappropriations of taxpayer money.
Meanwhile, a separate embezzlement indictment against Boone alleged that he used county funds on “a variety of consumer type goods, including but not limited to window tinting, floor mats, tools, lights, cooking appliances, a cooler, and groceries.”
Worth remembering? Last December, this news outlet exclusively reported that Boone was facing scrutiny at the county level related to the misuse of certain drug seizure funds.
Here are the indictments handed down against Boone …
Boone was arraigned on these charges in Richland County – which is where matters involving the statewide grand jury are heard. Ironically, Richland County is also home to sheriff Leon Lott – one of Boone’s closest allies in the South Carolina law enforcement community.
Boone has frequently turned to Lott as an “independent” investigator during his many disputes with SLED over the last year.
In addition to the two embezzlement charges, Boone was also slapped with a misconduct in office charge. That indictment claimed he “failed to properly administer (taxpayer) funds while exploiting his position for unlawful personal gain.”
S.C. circuit court judge DeAndrea Benjamin released Boone on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, although she ordered him to remain confined to his home (with electronic monitoring) and barred him from communicating with any employees of his department.
According to our sources in Florence, SLED agents executing a search warrant uncovered a veritable treasure trove of allegedly ill-gotten gains at Boone’s home – many of them reportedly still in their original, unopened packaging.
We are also told SLED obtained numerous electronic devices from the residence – including devices linked to what one local source referred to as a “related investigation” into Boone.[su_dominion_video_scb]
We reached out to SLED in the hopes of gaining some insight into the items that were obtained during the search – and what possible “related investigation” might be focusing on Boone.
Spokesman Thom Berry told us the warrant served on Boone’s home was part of an “overall investigation,” but he declined to discuss specific items that were seized.
“SLED executed a search warrant at Kenney Boone’s home Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation,” Berry told us. “A number of items were taken from the residence.”
Of interest? During Boone’s arraignment earlier this week, prosecutors with the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson referred to “threats” allegedly made by Boone. Specifically, former interim S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Heather Weiss told the court “some texts were sent where threats were made about another situation.”
Regular readers of this news outlet are well aware that Boone has been in a vitriolic battle with SLED for the past year. His beef with the agency began last spring when he claimed to have received death threats from Alex Curlington, the ex-husband of his new wife – Anna Hovey Boone.
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Curlington is married to a SLED agent, Genia Curlington, and Boone (above, with his new wife) was livid at the agency for not firing her – and not immediately arresting her husband – in the aftermath of these alleged threats.
According to our sources, the bitter feud between Boone and Alex Curlington experienced a recent “flare-up” earlier this month after an anonymous social media post impugned the integrity of Anna Boone.
“That sent the sheriff into a rage,” a source familiar with the situation told us.
This news outlet obtained a copy of the offending social media post, but we declined to publish it.
Issuing threats is obviously nothing new for Boone. Last summer, this news outlet reported exclusively on threats the sheriff made against county finance director Kevin Yokim.
“If I don’t get a call back I’m gonna send a deputy around your house or wherever you are to find your ass,” Bonne barked at Yokim in one of the voicemail messages we obtained. “Call me now!”
After calling Yokim a “nerdy, unintelligent bastard,” Boone then told the finance director “you ain’t seen hell yet.”
“I tell you what, you come to me (unintelligible) cause I’m gonna beat the -” Boone thundered. “Hell’s coming with me.”
After reviewing those recordings the attorney general’s office declined to press charges against Boone, who was allegedly upset at Yokim for questioning him over an alleged attempt by Boone to vacation with his family on the taxpayer dime.
Boone’s response to the situation? Threatening those who criticized him …
“I assure you, and God is my witness, I will return the favor ten fold!!!” the sheriff wrote on his Facebook page, which has since been yanked offline.
Boone was automatically suspended from office upon his indictment Wednesday. Hours later, S.C. governor Henry McMaster appointed former Florence County sheriff Billy Barnes to serve in an interim capacity until the charges against Boone are resolved.
Stay tuned … we have been following Boone’s situation for some time now and will continue to keep tabs on it as it jumps to a higher energy level.
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