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Ex-SC sheriff indicted on 47 new charges

Prosecuters say E.J. Melvin used his position to unlawfully enrich himself and others on the force since 2001

By Meg Kinnard
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A former South Carolina sheriff who was indicted earlier this year in a drug case now faces 47 new charges, including racketeering and money laundering.

Prosecutors said Wednesday the allegations against former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin represent more layers of a complex drug conspiracy case.

Melvin, 47, resigned in May after he and 11 others were charged with conspiring to deal drugs in Lee County, about 55 miles east of Columbia.

In the new indictment released Wednesday, prosecutors said Melvin abused his office "by using his position to unlawfully enrich himself and others" by dealing drugs, extorting kickbacks and laundering money.

Authorities say Melvin's cooperation with drug dealers dates to early 2001.

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