The Spartanburg County Clerk of Court Marcus Kitchens and Spartanburg County resident Terry Lanford were arrested that morning on federal drug Conspiracy charges. Federal law enforcement officials say Kitchens took cocaine and methamphetamines from the evidence room at the Spartanburg County Courthouse. Landford then allegedly sold the drugs to a Florida drug dealer who was in reality a confidential source for the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA).
McDonald says Kitchens and Lanford were arrested Tuesday morning at a Spartanburg restaurant following an alleged payment for a drug transaction. Investigators say the meeting was monitored by law enforcement, and Lanford provided Kitchens with $3,000, for partial payment on an alleged drug transaction dating back to August. A DEA special agent said that Lanford was approached by Kitchens a year ago to find a buyer for the drugs. Kitchens and Lanford could be fined up to $2,000,000 and imprisoned for up to 20 years.
McDonald says it was a serious crime. “Anytime a person in a position of authority and trust abuses that trust, it’s very discouraging,” he says, “particularly when the accusations involve stealing drugs from an evidence room.”
McDonald says the FBI will join the investigation. Both men have been released after posting bond.