Bond set at $100,000 for Sheriff James Metts - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bond set at $100,000 for Sheriff James Metts

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Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is expected in court Tuesday. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is expected in court Tuesday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WIS) - Bond was set at $100,000 for suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts on Tuesday as he appeared in federal court.

Metts faces charges of taking bribes and is also charged with wire fraud and conspiracy. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

A stoic and silent Metts left the court room shortly after his arraignment and said nothing as reporters peppered him with questions.

The judge ruled Metts to surrender his weapons and passport and ordered him to not leave the state without permission.

Metts' defense team said he is embedded in the Lexington County community with his 42 years at the same home and nine grandchildren.

The defense did reveal, however, that Metts knew he was under federal investigation for over a year.

Prosecutors told the judge Metts was a "flight risk" because of his substantial net worth of over $500,000.

Court documents say Metts allowed friends to buy favors, accepting cash in return for agreeing to assist people who were in the country illegally and who were being detained.

A federal judge has ordered sealed the sworn statements that led to Metts' indictment. Court documents show agents have removed materials including computers, appointment books and written notes from the sheriff's office.

Gov. Nikki Haley has suspended Metts from office, and Lewis McCarty is serving as acting sheriff.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press and WIS. All rights reserved.

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