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T-Rav’s Not Guilty Plea July 7, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
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HIGH-PROFILE DRAMA ONLY GOING TO EXPAND IN INTENSITY

FITSNews – July 7, 2007 – A few weeks ago, a friend of ours from Missouri called wondering why there was nothing on our website about the ongoing saga of State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel. Well, we reported on Ravenel’s indictment as soon as it happened (here) and turned the mic over to his friend and former advisor Sic Willie the very next day to get some personal perspective on the matter (here). Needless to say, both articles were among the most widely-read posts in the history of FITSNews.

Now that Ravenel’s attorneys have entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf, we’re writing about him again. And while we won’t be publishing pictures of rolled-up $100 bills hovering above lines of white powder with the caption “That’s How T-Rav Rolls” (as some have suggested we do), when news breaks on this story we’re going to cover it. At the same time, we’re going to continue urging people to keep our friend and his family in their thoughts and prayers as they navigate their way through this intensely trying time.

Many were surprised to hear of Ravenel’s “not guilty” plea given the fact that he has voluntarily checked himself into a drug rehabilitation center in Arizona. In fact, we’ve gotten numerous calls and e-mails from people wanting to know whether or not we thought this was a case of T-Rav sending “mixed messages.” We don’t. The reality is that “not guilty” pleas are often entered by attorneys in an effort to view all of the evidence collected by authorities pertaining to a case.

Over the past few weeks, speculation concerning the evidence against T-Rav has reached a fever pitch within South Carolina political circles. The biggest question seems to be the focus of the investigation – specifically whether it is targeted at busting open a criminal drug ring or part of an effort to unearth the names of other political figures who are rumored to have used drugs.

What seems clear is that investigators are looking for something from Ravenel and his co-defendant Michael Miller, and they are likely leveraging evidence collected against the two of them to get at what they want.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard from a number of sources close to the investigation, but none of them would speak with us on the record or even permit us to publish their statements anonymously.

And not one of them so much as hinted at the investigation’s ultimate objective …

Suffice it to say, the T-Rav drama is likely to get worse before it gets better. All we can say is we hope it is as painless as possible for our friend, and that at some point in the near future he can rehabilitate his failings, reclaim his life and recapture his tremendous promise and potential.

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Comments»

1. RyanC - July 7, 2007

Recapture his tremendous promise and potential? I highly doubt it.

2. Disappointed - July 7, 2007

Dark souls show themselves while enjoying the pain of others.

Dark souls indeed.

3. Anon - July 7, 2007

Actually, a “not guilty” plea is the only plea a federal magistrate can accept at an arraignment. It’s simply a legal formality. This case wasn’t going to be settled Friday — even if Ravenel had been there.

4. Top Posts « WordPress.com - July 7, 2007

[…] T-Rav’s Not Guilty Plea [image] HIGH-PROFILE DRAMA ONLY GOING TO EXPAND IN INTENSITY FITSNews – July 7, 2007 – A few weeks ago, a friend of […] […]

5. Gillon - July 7, 2007

Jon Stewart’s comments on “The Daily Show” regarding Thomas Ravenel being indicted for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, but not for selling it: “Not to sell, but to share. And you call yourself a Republican. That’s not capitalism. That’s welfare!”

6. Everything is fine - July 11, 2007

Everything is FINE! It’s fine, really, it’s fine. I’m not kidding…it’s fine. No, I’m not joking… everthing is fine. really….
Don’t pay attention to the campaign finance violations, or the suspended treasurer for cocaine distribution or emails indicating ethics violations, or the State Budget and Control Board in disarray, or employee’s bolting out of the Treasury Agency, or The DOT, or The SBCB. Don’t pay attention to the Treasurer that is so HIGH he can’t walk straight, everything is fine at the Treasury Dept. LISTEN TO ME! EVERYTHING IS FINE!

7. Ura - July 26, 2007

Miller allegedly sold 14 grams of cocaine – about 1/2 ounce – to an undercover law enforcement officer at a Charleston apartment complex in January of last year, according to an arrest affidavit.

If convicted of the state charge, Miller faces a prison term of three to 10 years and a fine of $25,000. Under state law, no part of the prison sentence may be suspended and no probation can be given.

8. Ima - July 29, 2007

In South Carolina last fiscal year, 97 percent of all federally indicted cases ended in guilty pleas, records show.

“We consider the investigation ongoing,” McDonald said. “If it’s appropriate to add charges, that is something that will be done.”

The way you can get your sentence reduced in the federal system is to plead guilty and to give substantial assistance (to authorities),” said longtime Columbia criminal defense lawyer Jack Swerling.

In South Carolina last fiscal year, the average drug trafficking sentence was about 11 years, compared to seven years nationwide.

Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson, who is presiding over Ravenel’s and Miller’s cases, has a reputation for fairness and staying within the guidelines, Strom said.

“Our judges stick to the guidelines,” he said.

9. Edisto Beach - August 22, 2007

Prosecutors said taxpayers paid for the sisters’ spending sprees, which included four homes in Edisto Beach, 10 luxury cars, boats, and expensive jewelry from New York and Alaska vacations.

C & D co-owner Charlene Corley, 46, was charged with wire fraud and money laundering and pleaded guilty to both Thursday. A sentencing date has not been set.

She was accused of bilking taxpayers by inflating shipping costs for Defense Department materials that cost a few dollars.

In one example, C & D collected $998,798 to ship two 19-cent bolt washers, court documents show.

Corley’s twin sister, Darlene Wooten, shot herself Oct. 2 after Defense Department investigators confronted her with evidence of a nine-year scheme that included billing the Pentagon for $71.6 million in shipping costs.


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