Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential Campaign Chairman Indicted on Cocaine Charges

For those of you who missed this… 

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP; CNN) — South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer who became a rising political star after his election last year, was indicted Tuesday on federal cocaine charges.

Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

Ravenel has stepped down from his volunteer responsibilities with the campaign, according to a statement released by Mark Campbell, Giuliani’s political director.

Campbell said the campaign has no information about the accusations pending against Ravenel.

The millionaire is accused of buying less than 500 grams of the drug to share with other people in late 2005, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said.

Ravenel, 44, is charged with distribution of cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The investigation into Ravenel arose from a drug case last year in Charleston, Lloyd said.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said his agents were aware of the allegations before Ravenel was elected in November, but they didn’t have enough information to pursue criminal charges. The case was turned over to the FBI in April.

“The investigation is just beginning,” the federal prosecutor said.

The man accused of selling Ravenel the drug, Michael L. Miller, is in custody on the same charge.

Ravenel will be allowed to turn himself in, authorities said. The treasurer’s office referred all questions to Ravenel’s lawyer Joel Collins, who did not return a message left at his office.

Gov. Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel immediately based on the serious nature of the charge. The governor said he would name an interim treasurer soon.

“These are obviously very serious allegations that we’re constitutionally bound to act upon, and they’ll ultimately be decided by the courts.” Sanford said in a statement.

Ravenel started his political career in 2004, funding his own campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. He finished a close third in the Republican primary.

Ravenel was founder of the Ravenel Development Corp., a commercial real estate development company. His father, Arthur Ravenel Jr., was a powerful politician from Charleston who served eight years in the U.S. House and is a former state representative and state senator.

(Story from CNN.com)

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3 Responses

  1. […] Rudy Giuliani’s campaign chairman indicted on cocaine charges […]

  2. PRESS NOTICE REGINALD I. LLOYD UNITED STATES ATTORNEY DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

    1441 Main Street, Suite 500 * Columbia, SC 29201 * (803) 929-3000*

    June 19, 2007

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT PERSON: KEVIN F. MCDONALD (803) 929-3000

    SOUTH CAROLINA STATE TREASURER THOMAS RAVENEL INDICTED ON FEDERAL DRUG CHARGE

    Columbia, South Carolina —- United States Attorney REGINALD I. LLOYD stated today that South Carolina State Treasurer THOMAS RAVENEL, age 44, of Charleston, along with another man, MICHAEL L. MILLER, age 25, of Mt. Pleasant, were charged in one-count Indictment this afternoon with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

    The Indictment reads as follows:

    THE GRAND JURY CHARGES:

    That beginning at a time unknown to the grand jury, but beginning at least in or around late 2005, and continuing thereafter, up to and including the date of this Indictment, in the District of South Carolina, the defendants, THOMAS RAVENEL and MICHAEL L. MILLER, knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire and agree together and have tacit understanding with each other and others, both known and unknown to the grand jury, to knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess with intent to distribute and to distribute a quantity of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C);

    All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

    Mr. Lloyd stated the maximum penalty RAVENEL and MILLER could receive is a fine of $1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment of 20 years.

    Mr. Lloyd stated that the case was investigated by agents of the FBI and SLED, and that he has assigned the case to Assistant United States Attorney William Witherspoon of the Columbia office for prosecution.

    Mr. Lloyd stated that all charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Indictment reads as follows:

    I DON’T SEE ANY LANGUAGE IN THE DOCUMENT THAT SAYS….HE WAS “JUST SHARING WITH FRIENDS”…….. ……………IT STATES: ” AND TO DISTIBUTE A QUANTITY OF COCAINE” You can try to sugar coat an indictment if you want to, but “cocaine distribution” IS “Cocaine Distribution” IT IS WHAT IT IS!

  3. ..but you can’t hide.

    If Ravenel is convicted of distribution of cocaine, he can serve as much as 20 years in prison. I would say that it is more likely that he will cut a “plea deal” to serve a short amount of time behind bars along with probation.

    If Ravenel cuts a “plea deal”, in other words, “pleads guilty” then the Feds should insist that he roll over on a “Bigger Fish” If he does not roll over, then he should do some serious jail time with the rest of the “Cocaine Distributors”.

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