E.J. Melvin leaves the Lexington County jail on May 7, 2010.
E.J. Melvin leaves jail on May 7, 2010.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin has been released from federal custody, after coming up with the money for his bond.
Melvin appeared at the federal courthouse in Columbia Friday for a hearing. He then went back to the Lexington County Jail were he was being detained. After some time, he left the jail in an SUV.
Melvin has been behind bars since he was arrested last Saturday on drug charges. As a condition of his bond, he will have to wear a monitoring device and will be under house arrest. There is also a list of people that he can not contact.
Family and friends helped to put up the $200,000 for the bond.
Melvin, 47, is accused of being part of a drug conspiracy that's operated for years in Lee County.
In court Wednesday, prosecutors laid out their case against Melvin. FBI agents claimed that wiretaps of Melvin's phone showed he protected drug dealers in exchange for money. Previous Coverage: Prosecutors Lay Out Evidence Against Melvin
Agents say they were able to find cooperative witnesses who said they feared Melvin.
Prosecutors say they found other illegal activity, including illegal use of food stamp cards and protecting people who had written bad checks. They also say he had stolen items on his property, and was protecting people who had stolen items.
Melvin resigned hours after he was arrested. A special election will be held to find his permanent replacement. In the meantime, Major Daniel Simon is serving as interim sheriff.