Police: Officer smuggled drugs, phones into jail

PICKENS — A Pickens County Detention Center officer has been fired and now faces criminal charges after authorities allege he provided drugs, cellphones and tobacco to inmates while working at the jail.

Zachary Keith Blanton, 23, was arrested last week by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents, according to a news release from SLED spokesman Thom Berry. He is charged with misconduct in office and furnishing contraband to prisoners.

Blanton was initially held at the Oconee County Detention Center pending his arraignment on the SLED charges before a Pickens County magistrate.

Pickens County Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said in a news release Blanton was terminated late on the night of Feb. 6 for violating sheriff’s office policies and

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