Metts wants to start video poker investigative unit - - Columbia, South Carolina

Metts wants to start video poker investigative unit


Sheriff James Metts wants more tax dollars to help deputies fight video poker in Lexington County.

The request comes less than a month after our investigation found people gambling on six video poker machines less than a half-mile from the sheriff's office. Those machines sat for months, undetected by law enforcement.

Metts was asked if he would be surprised to learn about the machines.

"No, it would not," he replied.

We interviewed Metts about the machines and about his employee, Lexington Councilman Danny Frazier.

After audio recordings of Frazier talking about how to operate the illegal machines in Lexington County, Metts suspended him and asked the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI to investigate.

Metts denied any involvement or knowledge of the video poker businesses Frazier talked about on the recording, although Metts' campaign records show he received around $6,000 from the businesses Frazier is linked to.

In fact, Metts told us he wouldn't put up with video poker in his county.

"I know people say, in something like that breeds corruption, but I can tell you in no uncertain terms I am not a part of any Lexington County ring, I am not part of any illegal gambling, I don't own, I don't receive, I'm not involved, I'm not protecting anybody. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. I'll put their asses in jail," Metts said.

Last week SLED agents, along with Metts' deputies, raided four locations in Lexington County and seized 21 video poker machines. They came from a store in South Congaree, a house in Springdale, and another store near Lexington. There were no arrests.

Now, Metts wants Lexington County council to spend tax dollars so he can start a video poker unit. The sheriff was set to make a proposal to county council Tuesday, but canceled his appearance late that afternoon.

We wanted to know what Metts' video poker unit would look like and how much it'll cost tax payers. As of this report, our requests to interview Metts for more details on the unit have gone unanswered. 

Metts is set to lay out his proposal, and how much it'll cost to county council in two weeks.

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