Colleton County Sheriffs lieutenant fired following federal indictment
Colleton County Sheriff’s lieutenant Fred Allen Inabinett was fired Monday following obstruction charges and a federal indictment, Sheriff George Malone said.
Inabinett was a rising star in Colleton County. He worked at the Sheriff’s Office for about 10 years, achieving the rank of lieutenant. The title made him the lead supervisor for all of the office’s investigators. His absence won’t go unnoticed, Malone said.
“We’ve got to do a lot of revamping. That’s the bottom line of it. He played a major role in our investigative unit. We’ve got to pull back and reorganize,” Malone said.
Recent accusations against Inabinett shocked Malone.
“Nobody said anything to me. I didn’t have any indication of any kind that this was going to happen,” Malone said.
Malone has known Inabinett his entire life and is a friend of his father’s. He said his view of his former employee hasn’t changed, despite the claims.
“I have the highest respect for his family and him. I still do, even under these circumstances,” Malone said.
Inabinett is accused of tipping off a drug dealer that he was being tailed by law enforcement. He was arrested Friday and charged with obstruction of justice and lying on affidavits.
In September of last year a U.S. district judge authorized the interception of phone calls made by a suspected drug trafficker in Colleton County known as E.S.
In November officials learned E.S. contacted Inabinett asking for information on a car that was following him.
E.S. gave Inabinett the license plate number of the vehicle, which Inabinett is accused of telling him was registered to law enforcement, an affidavit stated.
Federal agents were following E.S. in connection with a drug trafficking investigation.
Agents met with Inabinett in January to discuss their ongoing investigation of E.S. and why the man knew he was being tailed.
Inabinett acknowledged that E.S. contacted him about the vehicle, but said he did not tell the suspect that it belonged to law enforcement, the affidavit stated.
The FBI met with Inabinett again following the arrest of E.S. in April. Inabinett continued to insist he did not tell the man who was following him.
Inabinett, reached by phone Monday, deferred questions to Malone, and said at that time that he had not hired an attorney. “I have (read the indictment) but I can’t speak on it,” he said.