A Laurens County magistrate was arrested and charged Wednesday with conspiring with another individual to grow and distribute marijuana.
According to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officials, marijuana manufacturing equipment and marijuana plants were found in a building in Abbeville County, owned by Magistrate Mareno Cyrus Foggie, 38. They did not give the number of plants discovered but said it was more than 10 and less than 100.
Jonathan O’Neal Grant was also charged in the marijuana operation. Witnesses told police they had seen Grant on occasions carrying water into the building and driving Foggie’s truck. Foggie admitted to police that he allowed Grant access to the property, and that he had been on the property himself this year.
SLED officials said when they searched Foggie's car, they discovered a manual for a dehumidifier that matched the one found in the building where the marijuana was being grown.
The marijuana operation was discovered last month by officials Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office who turned the case over to SLED. Foggie is quoted in an online blog saying he is innocent of the charges.
In South Carolina, magistrates are appointed to four-year terms by the governor. Foggie was appointed in 2015 and his term expires April 30, 2019.