Defense requests some charges against suspended Lex. Co. Sheriff dropped

Published: Nov. 12, 2014 at 3:53 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Defense attorneys for suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts are asking several federal charges against him be dropped.

Metts was suspended from office in July after a federal indictment on public corruption charges. He is out on a $100,000 bond.

Attorneys representing Metts are asking that the judge drop several charges involved in the indictment accusing him of conspiracy, including conspiring to harbor illegal aliens.

Metts' attorneys argue while acting as Sheriff, he entered a voluntary agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to enforce immigration laws within Lexington County and arrest those who were not legal residents of the United States. Metts is accused of overlooking enforcement of immigration laws for employees of Greg Leon and was paid cash for overlooking those laws.

The motion submitted to federal court also argues the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the sheriff's department and the Department of Homeland Security "Do not require the reporting of every illegal alien and are ambiguous at best," reads the motion.

Metts' trial is scheduled to begin in January 2015.

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