Three former Orangeburg County deputies sentenced for their roles in narcotics conspiracy

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– According to acting United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina M. Rhett DeHart, three former deputies with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office were sentenced for conspiring with individuals they believed to be members of a Mexican drug cartel. Officials say 64-year-old Carolyn Colter Franklin, 52-year-old Allan Hunter and 29-year-old Nathaniel Miller Shazier III were all given multi-year sentences for their roles, with Franklin and Hunter also sentenced on charges of conspiring to obtain fraudulent U visas for non-immigrants in exchange for bribes.

“These sentences highlight that no one is above the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DeHart.  “Anyone brazen enough to conspire with cartels to commit crimes, especially those placed in public trust, will be met with the full force of the federal government.”

According to investigators, the three conspired to protect vehicles which they believed to contain narcotics proceeds from members a drug cartel who turned out to be undercover FBI agents. Investigators say the three also agreed to protect trucks carrying methamphetamine and cocaine in the future. Officials say they undercover investigation was carried out from December 2018-March 2019.

During the same investigation, authorities say Franklin and Hunter created fraudulent documents designed to help non-immigrants obtain non-immigrant U status which is reserved for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation.

“Those sentenced were trusted by their communities to serve and protect,” said Susan Ferensic, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge.  “Instead, while still wearing a badge, they decided to work on behalf of a drug cartel and facilitate the distribution of illegal drugs.  Keeping to the FBI’s mission, we aggressively pursued this investigation bringing together dedicated Agents and an array of resources to root out corrupt law enforcement officers who dishonor the profession.  The FBI is committed to ensuring law enforcement maintains the trust of the public it serves by never ceasing to pursue the corrupt.”

Officials say Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. sentenced Franklin to 61 months, Hunter to 63 months and Shazier to 46 months. Authorities say each sentence will be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

Categories: Local News, Orangeburg