Top Chester County Government Official Indicted For Drug Trafficking, Office Misconduct

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A top official in Chester County is facing drug and office misconduct charges.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that South Carolina State Grand Jury indictments were unsealed today against Chester County Supervisor Kenneth Shane Stuart.

These indictments charge not only public corruption but also narcotics offenses.

Stuart, 47, has served as the elected Chester County Supervisor since March of 2015. He was re-elected to another four year term in November of 2018.

In the first indictment, venued in Chester County, Stuart was charged with Conspiracy, Distribution of Methamphetamine (2 counts) and Common Law Misconduct in Office. The penalty for Conspiracy is up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $25,000.  The crime is a felony. The penalty for Distribution of Methamphetamine is 0-15 years in prison and/or a fine of $25,000 per count. The crime is a felony. The penalty for a violation of Common Law Misconduct in Office is up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine in the discretion of the court. This crime is a misdemeanor.

In the second indictment, venued in York County, Stuart was charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine 10 grams or more. The penalty for this crime is 3-10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The crime is a felony.

Stuart was also charged with an arrest warrant for Trafficking Methamphetamine 400 grams or more. This crime is punishable by 25-30 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. It is a felony. Also charged in this investigation with arrest warrants for Trafficking Methamphetamine 400 grams or more were Ace Donovon Hembree, 32, and Brittany Jane Oneppo, 40.

According to Detention Center records, Stuart has been booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County.

Stuart will have a bond hearing Friday at 10 a.m. before Judge DeAndrea Benjamin in Richland County.

This investigation has been conducted with a partnership of the South Carolina Attorney General’s State Grand Jury Section, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, the York County Sheriff’s Office, the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Sixteenth Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit. The case will be prosecuted by State Grand Jury Section Chief Attorney S. Creighton Waters, Assistant Attorney General David Fernandez and Assistant Attorney General John Conrad.

Attorney General Wilson stressed that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.