Flynn’s federal gambling trial delayed for plea negotiations

08/30/2014 10:07 PM

08/30/2014 10:08 PM

The trial of Larry Flynn, who faces charges of operating an illegal gambling business, will be delayed, according to papers filed in federal court.

No new date has been set for his trial, but public court documents said Flynn’s lawyers are engaged in plea bargain negotiations with federal prosecutors.

According to statements made in court, Flynn, who operated the Magic Minutes gaming business, is involved in an ongoing FBI and state investigation into public corruption in Lexington County.

That probe led to the indictment of suspended Lexington County Sheriff Jimmy Metts and three others, mostly for alleged misconduct involving the custody of illegal immigrants. In mid-June, after he was indicted, Metts was suspended from the post he held for 42 years.

Flynn, 39, has spent hours being debriefed by federal law enforcement, said his attorney, William von Herrmann of Conway.

Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges allowed Flynn to post a $2,500 cash bond that he will get back if he meets all his obligations, which include showing up at scheduled court appearances.

In June, a federal grand jury indicted Flynn on charges of operating an illegal gambling business and money-laundering. The federal charges came after years of controversy over whether Flynn’s gaming machines, which can be found at various convenience stores and other locations in the Midlands, are in fact illegal gambling devices.

In arguing in June for bond for his client, von Herrmann not only stressed Flynn’s cooperation but also told the judge he had deep roots in the Columbia area and a background in law enforcement and in the military. Besides, von Herrmann said, Flynn had surrendered his passport and could not leave the country.

Flynn is a former Richland County deputy who spent 15 years as a special investigator for the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. He lost a Republican primary bid to be Kershaw County sheriff in 2010, and in 2006, while a Columbia resident, lost a race to be the Republican nominee for S.C. secretary of state.

The charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

One of the three men charged with Metts, former Lexington Town Council member Danny Frazier, was advising the Internet gaming industry on various ways to set up shop in the Midlands.

Frazier and former South Congaree Police Chief Jason Amodio are accused of misconduct related to video poker. Specifically, Amodio is charged with taking payments from Frazier in exchange for the return of gaming machines seized by town officers.

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