A South Carolina sheriff gets busted for cocaine trafficking, and so does a Texas border town cop. And, as always, we have a couple of misbehaving jail guards, too. Let's get to it:
In Florence, South Carolina, the Florence County sheriff was arrested Saturday along with six other people for operating a cocaine trafficking ring. Sheriff EJ Melvin and the others face federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. He is also accused of extorting money from drug dealers for protection or to reduce the charges against them. Melvin, who had been sheriff for a decade, resigned Monday morning. He and the others face up to life in prison if convicted.
In Laredo, Texas, a Laredo police officer was arrested April 28 on federal drug charges. Orland Jesus Hale, 27, is charged with conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a fire arm during the commission of a drug crime. Hale is alleged to have participated with another indicted Laredo police officer, Pedro Martinez, in a scheme to use police cars to protect drug shipments. He faces up to life in prison on the conspiracy charge and a mandatory minimum of five years on the gun charge.
In Port St. Joe, Florida, a Gulf County Detention Center guard was arrested April 30 for allegedly smuggling marijuana and tobacco into the jail for prisoners. Guard John Pritchard, 24, is charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband and unlawful compensation. Also busted were a 24-year-old woman and a 24-year-old prisoner.
In Pocomoke City, Maryland, a Wiconomico County jail guard was arrested Saturday for selling cocaine on the streets. Jeremy Dashawn Moore, 29, faces 15 counts of cocaine possession and distribution. He went down after an eight-month investigation by local law enforcement, which included the use of a confidential informant who repeatedly bought cocaine from Moore. He is now out on $90,000 bail.