COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A former South Carolina sheriff has lost an appeal challenging his conviction in a drug conspiracy case.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday turned down the request from former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin.
Melvin has been in federal prison since his November 2010 conviction on 38 charges of drug conspiracy and racketeering.
Melvin is serving a 17-year sentence in 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.