54-year old James Bartee, a former United States Secret Service agent who was in the midst of a sheriff campaign in Oconee County, South Carolina faces charges for allegedly plotting to abduct a retired judge, according to Yahoo News.
Bartee, was arrested Wednesday and charged with solicitation to commit a felony as authorities contend that he attempted to pay someone to kidnap former judge James Williams Jr. because Williams was trying to get Bartee removed from the county's sheriff's ballot.
On Thursday Bartee was released on $10,000 bond, but will lose his passport as he now is considered a flight risk.
After posting bail at his bond hearing, Bartee steadfastly denied the charges against him telling reporters that eventually the "truth will come out."
Bartee purportedly plotted for several days with the unidentified potential kidnapper until he was arrested, according to audio recordings cited in the arrest warrant.
South Carolina state authorities said that their investigation was sparked by a request by the current Oconee County sheriff.
There was ongoing tension between Bartee and Williams, which can be seen on Bartee's campaign Facebook page.
The former Circuit Court judge had even filed a civil lawsuit against Bartee because he is not a certified law enforcement officer in South Carolina, while Bartee contends that his time spent as a Secret Service agent fulfills the state requirement.
"James Bartee wants all to know that he is legally on the ballot and deserves to be on the ballot," says a post on his campaign Facebook page.
If the attempted kidnapping allegations are true Bartee is in for a world of hurt as he will likely spend a significant time behind prison bars.
Yet, even if the allegations do not stick, these charges should be enough to eliminate him from contention as Oconee County's new sheriff.
Accordingly, it looks like Williams will get his wish, although in a bizarrely unusual manner.
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