U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Tuesday that 68-year-old Lexington County Sheriff James Metts faces 10 charges.
Court documents say Metts allowed friends to buy favors. Authorities say he accepted cash in return for agreeing to assist people who were in the country illegally and who were being detained.
Metts has been sheriff since 1972. He has received a number of awards and is next up for re-election in 2016.
Metts is at least the fourth South Carolina sheriff accused of taking kickbacks.
Court records do not list an attorney for Metts and it wasn't immediately known whether he was in custody.
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