Former Colleton Co. sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to federal obstruction charge

      Fred Inabinett (Courtesy: Press and Standard/

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A former Colleton County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty in federal court to obstruction of justice charges, admitting he made false statements to federal agents.

      United States Attorney Bill Nettles said 39-year-old Fred Inabinett of Walterboro pleaded guilty to the charge in federal court in Charleston Tuesday.

      According to Nettles, Inabinett, while working as a lieutenant with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office, had conversations with a known drug dealer and revealed law enforcement sensitive information to him regarding federal investigations taking place in Colleton County.

      Nettles says when FBI agents questioned Inabinett about conversations that he had with the drug dealer, Inabinett denied that he had passed on any such information.{} Nettles says that telephone calls intercepted from the drug dealer's phone showed that Inabinett had lied.

      Inabinett was terminated from the Colleton County Sheriff's Office shortly after he was charged. He faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine plus a special assessment of $100.

      United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office. He could be sentenced in the next 90 days, court officials said.