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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Former Lee County sheriff facing life in prison, sentencing date - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Former Lee County sheriff facing life in prison, sentencing date - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Former two-term Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin is behind bars at the Lexington County Detention Center, awaiting a sentencing hearing that could put him in federal prison for the rest of his life.

A federal jury convicted Melvin late Tuesday afternoon after deliberating racketeering, drug conspiracy, extortion, using a telephone to further a drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. Melvin is also guilty of lying to the FBI. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison with the possibility of a life sentence.

For complete coverage of Melvin's arrest and trial click here.

US Assistant Attorney Mark Moore charged Melvin with 25 separate acts of racketeering. The jury only needed to find the former sheriff guilty of two acts to be convicted, but the jury found guilty on all counts. The jury found Melvin not guilty of four of the 17 telephone counts. The drug conspiracy conviction carries a minimum of 10 years, the additional charges could enhance the sentence the judge will level on Melvin.

After the court clerk read the verdict, the judge revoked Melvin's bond and ordered the US Marshals to arrest the former sheriff and put him in jail until his sentencing hearing in January. Melvin was free since May 7 when he was set free on a $200,000 surety bond."

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