Former Lexington County Sheriff James Metts will report June 18 to the federal prison complex at Butner, N.C., to begin serving a sentence of up to 10 months.
Butner, located north of the Raleigh-Chapel Hill area, has two medium-security prisons, a medical facility and a minimum security prison, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Metts, 68, will be housed at the minimum security camp, his lawyer Sherri Lydon of Columbia said Friday.
That facility has 1,306 inmates, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
According to the federal prison Internet site, Metts already has a prison number – 27316-171.
Metts was sentenced to prison in late April after U.S. Judge Terry Wooten brushed aside his plea for mercy. Metts also must pay a $10,000 fine.
Metts pleaded guilty to a federal offense stemming from interference in the handling and inappropriate release of two illegal immigrants at the county jail in 2011. Metts accepted money for that release, prosecutors have said.
It was an unexpected end to Metts’ long career as one of South Carolina’s most prominent law enforcement officials. He served 42 years as sheriff, helped found the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association and was involved in numerous high-profile cases.
At the sentencing hearing, Wooten, a former prosecutor, told Metts that his actions were “a serious breach of trust” and refused to grant the home confinement that Metts and his lawyers had sought.
“I don’t want to go to prison,” Metts told the judge that day, his voice shaking at times before sentencing. “I have severe medical problems. I don’t want to go to prison because I don’t think I will come out of there alive.”
But the judge noted that Butner is known for its fine medical facilities.
Metts apologized for his actions. The formal charge against the ex-sheriff was the felony of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens.
Notorious Ponzi scheme white collar felon Bernard Madoff is also in the Butner complex, but is staying in one of the higher-security prisons located at that site.