Former Berkeley County sheriff's deputy arrested

Danny Crawford Dye

Another former Berkeley County sheriff's deputy, this one a convicted drug dealer, was jailed Wednesday in an ongoing probe into illegal video poker operations in the county.

Just last week, former deputy Chester G. "Smokey" Howell Jr., 66, of Alexander Circle in Summerville and his son, Chester Norman Howell, 42, of Lebanon Road in Ridgeville were arrested after deputies allegedly found and seized gaming machines at their residences. Both are free on bail.

In the latest arrest, Danny Crawford Dye, 55, of Pinopolis Road is charged with unlawful games and betting, keeping unlawful betting tables, unlawful keeping of gaming tables and possession of a stolen firearm, according to a news release issued by the Sheriff's Office. He was being held in the Hill-Finklea Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Dye's home was searched Tuesday by sheriff's deputies and agents from the State Law Enforcement Division, the release said. The release did not specify what was found.

Dye, who served under the late Sheriff M.C. Cannon for about five years, was a sergeant in charge of the narcotics squad in March 1989 when he was accused of selling cocaine to an informant.

The informant, Daniel V. Hogg, was busted for cocaine possession and told authorities Dye was his supplier. Investigators gave Hogg immunity from prosecution.

The Drug Enforcement Agency and SLED set up a sting, with Hogg wearing a wire during drug transactions with Dye. Narcotics agents taped the meetings.

Dye was charged with three counts of selling cocaine. At a December 1989 jury trial in U.S. District Court in Charleston, Dye was convicted of only one of those counts. U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck sentenced Dye to 27 months. He was released in July 1992.

According to federal court records, Dye appealed his conviction in 1991, but it was upheld by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

So far, the investigation into illegal video gambling in Berkeley County has resulted in 21 arrests. The probe is expected to continue, and additional arrests are expected, the release said.