Ex-Secret Service agent found guilty in SC plot

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) — A former Secret Service has been sentenced to five years in prison for plotting to kidnap a retired South Carolina judge.

A judge handed down the sentence Tuesday after an Oconee County jury found 55-year-old James Bartee guilty of solicitation to commit a felony. Bartee was also sentenced to five years of probation.

Bartee was arrested during a May 2012 hearing while he was running for Oconee County sheriff. Authorities said he was worried a hearing would reveal he didn’t have the qualifications to be sheriff and paid an informant to kidnap a former judge who was going to testify against him.

The kidnapping never happened. Bartee’s lawyer said local authorities and state police were conspiring to knock him out of the race.

Bartlee spent more than two decades with the U.S. Secret Service.

His lawyer says he will appeal his conviction.

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