HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The stolen gun of William Bailey, former North Myrtle Beach public safety director, was recovered in an arrest by the drug enforcement unit, said Kenneth Moss, Bailey's attorney.
Bailey was contacted by the Horry County Police Department Monday morning to recover his stolen property. Bailey signed a receipt for the gun, which was then turned over to the City of North Myrtle Beach Tuesday morning by Moss.
NMB City spokesman Pat Dowling said the gun has been returned and matches the one stolen back in 2009. He added that the gun will be held in inventory and likely not used again in case it's needed for evidence.
Neither Bailey, nor Moss, were aware of who was carrying the gun or what charges he faces.
Authorities with the 15th Judicial Circuit's Drug Enforcement Unit recovered the stolen gun in a drug bust that ended two weeks ago as a traffic stop on Highway 31. They arrested 34-year-old Kashief Spain of Myrtle Beach and he's currently facing drugs and weapons charges at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Authorities say Spain was in jail when the gun was stolen back in 2009, and they don't know how long he may have had it or where he got it from.
Bailey and his lawyer maintain that the glove box where the gun was stored had been unlocked when it was stolen, despite the city's report that Bailey told them it was locked.
Trouble for Bailey came after his gun was stolen from his car. Bailey was placed on a two-week suspension without pay in early 2010 and removed from his position as public safety director for the City of North Myrtle Beach in March 2010.
[To read the police report filed in the case, click here (PDF)]
"I take full responsibility and regret my actions regarding how the weapon was stored and the statements made by the city to media on Dec. 29, saying the weapon was secured in a locked glove box. I made those statements to administration and approved their release," said Bailey in 2010.
Bailey now tells WMBF News he agreed to let North Myrtle Beach officials release that statement in order to save his job. He says he never lied about the gun being locked up.