Judge sets bond for ex-Lee Co. sheriff on drug charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A judge has set bail of $200,000 for a former South Carolina sheriff accused of drug distribution.

U.S. Magistrate Joseph McCrorey on Wednesday also ordered former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin be held under house arrest.

Prosecutors argue Melvin should be held until trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore said wiretap statements show Melvin could be a threat to co-defendants who plan to testify against him.

Melvin has been jailed since Saturday. He's charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of powder cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

If convicted, Melvin faces at least 10 years in prison.

Melvin has resigned. Defense attorney Jack Swerling says his client won't be able to bond out until later this week.

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