COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A former South Carolina sheriff has appealed his 17-year sentence and conviction for drug conspiracy and racketeering.
Court documents show E.J. Melvin on Wednesday filed an appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Melvin has been in federal prison since his November conviction on 38 charges of drug conspiracy and racketeering.
Melvin was sentenced earlier this month and assigned to a federal prison in North Carolina. A federal judge also ordered him to pay nearly $19,000 in restitution to Lee County.
Defense attorneys had argued that Melvin should not be held responsible for others dealing drugs, didn't know the dealer had a weapon and didn't do anything to stop the federal investigation once he knew he was a target.