Jurors wait to discuss ex-SC sheriff's drug case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Jurors are waiting to begin deliberating the fate of a former Lee County sheriff facing dozens of federal charges, including drug conspiracy and racketeering.

Jurors on Friday adjourned for the weekend in the two-week trial of E.J. Melvin. They resume their talks on Monday.

Melvin resigned in May after he and 11 others were charged with conspiring to deal drugs in Lee County.

Prosecutors played taped conversations they said showed Melvin conspiring to extort money from drug dealers in exchange for protection from investigation. Many co-defendants also pleaded guilty and testified against Melvin.

But his attorney says jurors shouldn't trust that testimony because of deals cut with prosecutors.

Melvin faces up to life in prison and millions of dollars in fines if convicted.

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