(Aiken) – Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt fired four narcotics investigators and suspended another after he says they took women in their squad car, and one even performed a sex act with one of the women.
Hunt also called for a full criminal investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Hunt terminated the following employees: 33-year-old Investigator James Crowell of North Augusta, 30-year-old Lieutenant Jonathon Owenby of Aiken, 29-year-old Investigator Tim Roberts of Aiken, and 34-year-old Investigator Luke Williamson of North Augusta.
Hunt said, "I am asking SLED to investigate allegations of misuse of government money, misconduct in office and improper destruction of evidence."
A preliminary investigation conducted Tuesday by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office Professional Standards found Crowell, Owenby, Roberts and Williamson on September 13 drove an unmarked, county-owned automobile to a bar in Augusta, Georgia.
Deputies say the investigators consumed alcoholic beverages, left the nightspot with two women, and drove to another bar in North Augusta. After briefly returning to Augusta, Hunt says the investigators, accompanied by a woman, drove to an Aiken County motel. During the drive, deputies say the woman performed a sexual act with an investigator.
A subsequent probe conducted Thursday revealed the most serious allegations. Hunt said the suspended narcotics investigator is 38-year-old Brian Owens of Aiken. He has been placed on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of a state investigation.