A former Columbia police chief has been arrested on drug charges, according to Richland County deputies.
Randy Scott was charged Tuesday night with possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine. Two others were also arrested in the raid on Scott’s home.
Sheriff Leon Lott said the U.S. Marshals Task Force went to the home while searching for a suspected drug dealer who was considered a fugitive. The task force found the fugitive, along with Scott and a woman who also had drugs in their possession, Lott said.
“This was not a drug investigation where we focused on (Scott),” Lott told reporters in a Wednesday press conference. “This is where we were focusing on a fugitive. By tracking that fugitive, it ended up in his home. And then when we saw drugs in plain view, that’s where it went.”
Scott worked for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department when he was named Columbia’s interim police chief in 2010. He was named to the permanent position a few months later and served until 2013. The then-44-year-old said at the time of his retirement that he was suffering from “PTSD” after an a former colleague was killed in the line of duty.
The sheriff said the task force found meth in Scott’s bedroom. He said investigators are not sure if the former chief was distributing or using the drugs.
Lott said he was extremely angry with his former investigator and that he would “strangle him,” if he could. “I’m very mad, very sad and very disappointed,” he said. “And I would be that way for anybody who had a good law enforcement career and who’s now been arrested for drugs.”
Scott faces up to three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, but will likely receive much less since he has no prior record.