SLED investigates beating of drug informant in Greenwood County - - Columbia, South Carolina

SLED investigates beating of drug informant in Greenwood County

(Greenwood-AP) October 5, 2006 - State agents are investigating the beating of a drug informant by Greenwood County deputies, authorities say.

Greenwood Police Chief Gerald Brooks said the man was supposed to be helping his officers by buying cocaine from a drug dealer, but instead ended up in a sting set up by the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office.

The dealer the informant had been planning to meet on September 27th was arrested by deputies earlier in the day. An officer answering the suspect's cell phone arranged the meeting to sell the drugs, planning to bust the informant, authorities said.

The informant told WYFF-TV that deputies breaking up the deal beat him, and one officer stuck a shotgun in his mouth, breaking his teeth.

Both agencies were investigating the same drug dealer, but didn't know their counterparts were involved, authorities said.

Brooks asked the State Law Enforcement Division to look into what happened.

"I think any investigation has to not only be fair and impartial, but it needs to appear to be fair and impartial," Brooks said. "In this case, again, the informant was working on our behalf and I really don't think we can appear to be impartial in this case."

Greenwood County Sheriff Dan Wideman said he won't talk about the case at length while SLED is investigating.

"The officer is not suspended and will continue to work," Wideman said. "I stand behind this deputy 100 percent."

Posted 7:51am by Bryce Mursch

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