Colleton County sheriff's lieutenant under federal indictment

Fred Allen Inabinett
Fred Allen Inabinett

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that a Colleton County sheriff's lieutenant is under federal indictment.

Fred Allen Inabinett was arrested on Friday and is charged with obstruction of justice and lying on affidavits.

Colleton County Sheriff George Malone said he was shocked when he heard about the indictment. Malone says that Inabinett is on administrative leave until Monday when they will decide how to move forward.

FBI officials say Inabinett provided information to a suspected drug trafficker regarding a car that was following him.

According to an affidavit, in November of 2011, a man the FBI was investigating in Colleton County contacted Inabinett about a car he saw following him.

The FBI says the people in the car were federal agents who were monitoring the man, known as E.S., in a federal drug trafficking investigation. An affidavit provided by the FBI states that a U.S. district judge authorized lawful interception of telephone calls by E.S. during the time period of Sept. 2, 2011 through Dec. 1, 2011.

Authorities say E.S. contacted Inabinett with the license plate of the car in order to get information on the vehicle and the driver. An affidavit states that Inabinett then made inquiries on a computer and found out that the vehicle was not on file and was a law enforcement vehicle.

The FBI says that E.S. contacted Inabinett days later and at that time, Inabinett told E.S. that it was a law enforcement vehicle that was following him.

In January, authorities say Inabinett told FBI agents that E.S. was aware that he had been followed by law enforcement in November and that E.S. had contacted him regarding the vehicle that was following him.

According to FBI officials, Inabinett told agents that he did not notify E.S. that it was law enforcement that was following him in November.

In April, E.S. was arrested by federal agents. The FBI met with Inabinett and told him that E.S.' drug trafficking was the subject of a grand jury investigation. During that meeting, authorities say Inabinett stated again that he did not tell E.S. that the vehicle which followed him in November was a law enforcement vehicle.

The FBI released the following statement:

"Public Corruption is the criminal priority of the FBI.  The FBI investigates allegations of corruption involving elected officials, law enforcement officers, and government employees at the federal, state, and local levels.  Any allegations of corruption should be directed to the local FBI office. "

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