Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: Columbian Drug Lords Edition

The State Treasurer of South Carolina follows in the footsteps of such Republican drug kingpins as George W. Bush and Larry Kudlow. Here are the details:

State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was indicted on federal drug charges Tuesday and was suspended from office by Gov. Mark Sanford.

Ravenel, 44, and Michael L. Miller of Mount Pleasant are charged with one count each of conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute cocaine.

Miller already is in state custody on charges of trafficking cocaine. Ravenel is scheduled to appear July 9 in federal court in Columbia for arraignment, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said.

Ravenel, a Republican, was elected treasurer in November. The charge filed Tuesday said he has "knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess(ed) with intent to distribute" cocaine since at least late 2005.


Lloyd described Miller as a drug dealer. He stressed Ravenel was not charged with selling cocaine. Under federal law, a charge of intent to distribute cocaine can mean a defendant acquired the drug and gave it to others. Lloyd would not say to whom Ravenel allegedly gave cocaine.

Scarfaeces was a graduate of two well-known party schools, The Citadel and U.S.C., receiving a Master of Blow Accumulation from the latter. Ravenel was previously in management at Ravenel Development Corporation, landlord to many upscale Subway restaurants.

South Carolina Democratic Chairperson Carol Khare Fowler offered a rather generic description of the latest Republican culprit: "In only a few months, Thomas Ravenel has gone from spoiled, rich kid buying his way into office to common street criminal." Not surprisingly, Richard Cohen is already calling on Bush to pardon Ravenel, on the ground that Ravenel, as a white man, tends to have a morbid fear of jail.

(As always, all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until a prominent member of the Republican Party sets up a legal defense website for them.)

Update (6/20): Cokeboy was the head of Blowhounds South Carolinaians for Guiliani. Perhaps his departure is the big break Bernie Kerik has been looking for.

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