Federal judge denies motion to dismiss charges against Metts

Federal judge denies motion to dismiss charges against Metts

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss the charges against suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.

The defense for suspended Sheriff James Metts looked to get certain charges against him dismissed. Metts, who was suspended in July, is accused of taking bribes from a business owner in exchange for releasing employees who were undocumented immigrants.

The former sheriff's defense team also claimed the feds' case against their client is built solely on the testimony of two "unsavory" witnesses, including former Lexington Town Councilman Danny Frazier. The defense team also put together a video to highlighting operations of 287-G, a program aimed at detaining and deporting illegal immigrants.

"Because we realized that about ten percent of our population we thought were born outside the United States," Metts explained, "so we applied for the 287-G program."

Following the ruling to deny the motion to dismiss, the defense attacked the prosecution's methods claiming they were withholding evidence until the last minute. At one point, Metts' attorney Sherri Lydon accused prosecutors of turning in a stack of what appeared to be compact discs just before Tuesday's hearing.

However, the government says it has far exceeded its obligations to provide evidence to the defense.

Judge Terry Wooten also denied the defense's effort to delay the trial. Metts' trial is set to start Jan. 12, 2015.

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