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KCI officer arrested on contraband charges

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By Chris Sardelli

A Kershaw Correctional Institution (KCI) officer found himself behind bars earlier this month after he was charged with allegedly furnishing tobacco products for inmates. 

Junior Saint Xavier James, 48, of Charlotte, was arrested Feb. 1 on charges of furnishing contraband to prisoners and criminal conspiracy to furnish contraband, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

James worked at KCI, which is located along Gold Mine Highway, about four miles northeast of the town of Kershaw. 

On Feb. 1, a deputy responded at about 8:30 a.m. to the prison to transport someone to the Lancaster County Detention Center, the report said. 

When the deputy arrived, he met with an S.C. Department of Corrections investigator. 

The investigator told the deputy that James was fired and arrested that morning for attempt or conspiracy to furnish contraband to prisoners, the report said.

Arrest warrants released by Lancaster County Chief Magistrate Judge Jackie Pope on Monday afternoon point to tobacco as the contraband item. 

The warrants state that tobacco is listed on a “published and conspicuously located list of contraband items,” though they do not list the exact type or amount of the items provided to prisoners.

The conspiracy warrant stated that James “did unlawfully plan or scheme to accomplish the crime of furnishing contraband (tobacco) to a state prison by unlawful means.”

James was jailed at the detention center, where a hold was placed on him for pending the DOC charges. 

The next day, Feb. 2, the DOC investigator served two warrants on James in the detention center, the report said. 

Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said Thursday, Feb. 7, he didn’t know the details surrounding the charges and subsequent arrest.

“The state has their own investigators for the prison system and they are handling that case,” Faile said. 

A Department of Corrections investigator refused to comment on the details of James’ arrest on Friday, Feb. 8, but said the investigation is ongoing. 

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield also did not know the specific details of the case, but said the warrants will eventually be sent to his office. 

Barfield said usually after the warrant is served and the person arrested, the warrant makes its way back to Magistrate Court, then to the Clerk of Court’s office and finally to the solicitor’s office. 

According to both the S.C. Judicial Department website and bail documents, Pope set two $20,000 surety bonds for James during a bond hearing Feb. 2, for a total of $40,000. 

Bond conditions include staying away from the prison and maintaining good behavior, per court records. 

James was released on bond Feb. 4 and his first General Sessions court appearance is scheduled for April 12, the judicial website said. 

 

 Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416