- Former Florence County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Edward Fuleihan has been sentenced to federal prison.
- Fuleihan helped members of an illegal gambling operation escape law enforcement.
- He has additional charges pending at the state level.
FLORENCE, S.C. - Former Florence County sheriff’s deputy Mark Edward Fuleihan was sentenced to federal prison after being charged with helping a gambling ring escape law enforcement and accepting bribes to do so.
“We trust our law enforcement officers to protect society and stand against wrongdoing,” said M. Rhett DeHart, Acting U.S. Attorney. “When an officer violates that trust, it is imperative that we hold them accountable. I commend our state and federal partners for doing just that in this case. This team was able to dismantle a criminal organization that was bolstered by a crooked cop and to send that officer to prison.”
Fuleihan’s role in the scheme was to use his position in the Florence County Sheriff's Office, where he was a Lieutenant, to uncover information regarding potential law enforcement action against the group.
Per the US Attorney’s Office:
“Fuleihan would share this information with members of the illegal gambling operation, and the members would use it to evade law enforcement operations and to destroy potentially relevant evidence. Fuleihan was recorded on several calls with at least one member of the gambling operation discussing pending federal search warrants, potential wiretaps, and law enforcement raids. At least one member of the illegal gambling operation explained how Fuleihan would sell previously seized gambling machines back to members of the illegal gambling operation.”
Fuleihan was sentenced to a term of 12 months and one day by Chief U.S. District Judge R. Bryan Harwell.
This will be followed by a three-year period of court-ordered supervision. In addition, there could be more time added to this sentence, as Fuleihan is also being charged by a South Carolina State Grand Jury, whose charges remain pending at this time, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
This case drives home the risks of illegal gambling and the importance of finding a legal gambling alternative for everyone involved.