Documents, computers, cassettes seized from Lexington County Sheriff's Department

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Several items from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department have been seized as part of an ongoing investigation into suspended Sheriff James Metts, according to court documents.

Those items were taken from a computer room and the office belonging to public information officer John Allard.

Several items are listed on the warrant, such as personal electronic devices, computers, briefcases, appointment books, folders and one memo titled "Video Gaming, Sweepstakes, and Related Enterprises."

Also listed in the warrant is six cassette tapes in a large yellow envelope and another cassette that was removed from a "recorder attached to [a] telephone."

At least three incident reports were also seized. One incident report is centered around 38-year-old Brinton Lee Motley. According to a 2013 release from the sheriff's department, Motley had been charged with unlawfully possessing a gambling device.

In that release, sheriff's deputies seized 53 illegal video gambling devices from a work area connected to Motley on Morningside Drive.

Metts, however, has not been charged with anything connected to an alleged illegal video poker ring that operated inside the county. A WIS investigation helped to paint a spotlight on the ring and its connections to former Councilman Danny Frazier.

Frazier was also named in last week's federal indictments, which said he operated as a middle man between Metts and Gregorio Leon, the owner of several Mexican restaurants in the area.

The indictment alleged Leon paid Metts to not input the names of several undocumented immigrants arrested in the county into a federal database.

In that case, a judge recently sealed an affidavit in an effort to not "jeopardize an ongoing investigation."

That seal came down on June 20, just days after Metts was indicted.

"Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the interests of justice are best served by filing the affidavit and its attachments under seal," said the court filing.

However, the court filing goes on to say that copies of this affidavit will be available to several law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI, and Homeland Security Investigations.

Metts was suspended from the sheriff's department by Gov. Nikki Haley and is scheduled to have his first appearance in federal court on July 1.

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