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Judge sets bond for 3 men linked to Lexington County sheriff's corruption allegations


COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Bond was set Thursday for three men linked to the federal corruption case of South Carolina's longest-serving sheriff.

In court in Columbia, a judge set $50,000 bond each for restaurant owner Greg Leon, former Lexington Town Councilman Danny Frazier and former South Congaree Police Chief Jason Amodio.

All three men have been indicted by the state grand jury. Authorities have said that Lexington County Sheriff James Metts took bribes from Leon in exchange for releasing some his employees who had been detained for being in the country illegally.

According to prosecutors, Frazier participated in that scheme and also bribed Amodio in exchange for seized gambling machines.

Metts, sheriff since 1972, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges including bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud. Indictments in his case detail phone calls between Metts and Frazier, who prosecutors say acted as a go-between for Leon, the owner of several Mexican restaurants.

Metts accepted an envelope of cash in exchange for keeping some of the restaurants' employees from ending up in federal databases of immigrants who weren't supposed to be in the U.S., the indictment said.

In searches of offices at the sheriff's department, court documents show agents have seized computers, appointment books, written notes, incident reports, an iPhone and a cassette tape in a recorder attached to a telephone in Metts' office.

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