FBI: SC sheriff dealt drugs from police SUV; he resigned after being arrested with 6 others

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Federal agents say a South Carolina sheriff dealt drugs from his police SUV and when authorities gave him a list of possible drug dealers in his county, he called to tip them off or extort money to get them off the list.

Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin and six others were arrested Saturday and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

An FBI agent's affidavit says agents tapped Melvin's phone and caught him saying he would arrange for a traffic stop on a drug dealer, take some of the cocaine he expected to find for himself and use the rest as evidence

Melvin resigned the day he was arrested. Gov. Mark Sanford is expected to appoint an interim sheriff.

Lee County is about 50 miles east of Columbia.