J. Reuben Long Detention Center

The J. Reuben Long Detention Center is where inmates in Horry County are held before their trial. Photo by Christian Boschult 

Two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies resigned in May after internal investigations found both of them made false statements under oath to obtain warrants, according to records from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. 

Sgt. William McMeins Jr. had worked at the jail since April 2015 and left the department on May 20, records show. Michael Bryant had worked at the jail since February 2008 and left May 19, according to the records. 

The criminal justice records show that McMeins “knowingly and willingly typed up and presented a search warrant affidavit before a Horry County Magistrate Judge which contained several misleading and incorrect statements within the warrant affidavit,” the criminal justice records said. “These facts are evidenced by departmental incident reports, departmental body worn camera footage, a copy of the aforementioned search warrant and statements provided by McMeins during an HCSO OPS Interview.”

The records state Bryant “knowingly and willingly presented several arrest warrant affidavits which contained false, misleading and incorrect statements before a Horry County Magistrate Judge to obtain arrest warrants for an individual involved in this case,” the records said. “These facts are evidenced by departmental reports, copies of the arrest warrants, departmental body worn camera footage, emails and statements provided by Bryant during an HCSO OPS Interview.” 

The records do not provide details about what McMeins and Bryant presented nor specific information about the warrants.

Neither Bryant nor McMeins faced any criminal charges from the misconduct, the criminal justice academy records said.

In 2019, records show, McMeins faced a written reprimand for conduct unbecoming of an officer after he “exhibited inappropriate behavior” toward an “employee at the Conway Magistrate’s Office.”

In a statement, HCSO spokeswoman Brennan Cavanagh said in an emailed statement that the department works hard to uphold the public trust, and that the investigation was started after a citizen complaint. 

After receiving the complaint, she wrote, "we conducted a thorough investigation into two former officers. Our investigators reviewed incident reports, hundreds of emails, recorded interviews, and body camera footage. Ultimately, we concluded that these two officers did not uphold our strict policy of truthfulness. The actions of McMeins and Bryant are not representative of the training and service we provide to Horry County Citizens. Both officers resigned as a result of this investigation and we reported their misconduct to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for further action." 

Cavanagh added that the department would not release details from the internal investigation. She said McMeins had filed an appeal with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in an effort to keep his certification. She didn't know if Bryant had filed an appeal or not.

"We are preparing for an administrative hearing," Cavanagh said. "This hearing is similar to a court hearing, with legal counsel present. It will ultimately determine if the officer gets to keep his certification."

Reach Christian by email or through Twitter and Facebook with the handle @ChrisHBoschult. 

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Christian is Texas native who welcomes any chance to do a story in the marsh or on the beach. He's a dog park regular and enjoys spending time in the kitchen. He says his margarita recipes are better than anything you'll find in a restaurant.

(1) comment

myselfuenjoi

How exactly is it that when it comes to police officers they act like being put on administrative leave, or even having their job terminated, is equal justice to any criminalcharges? Its never ending, i read story after story about these incompetent, entitled fools doing whatever they want to whoever and never is justice served. Please i beg anyone to convince me im wrong, but when it comes to officers of the law i believe they should receive even tougher punishments than anyone else. If they are not held to a higher standard, or even held accountable in any way, they are no longer officers of the law they are the minions of an oppressive regime participating in a state funded racketeering scheme. This is why i wholeheartedly support the defunding of the police force, they pay officers 45000 to start to guarantee they receive subpar resumes to scan for perpetual followers. Then do we find them using their completely unreasonable, drug lord sized funding on proper training to perform their duties under protocol, or teaching officers effective conflict resolution skills that dont involve shooting up the place? No. They use it to buy f*<&ing tanks gins, and suped up cars to further militarize themselves. All im saying is there is nothing about the overall conduct of our nations police force that feels like protection and service to the people. Im not saying they are an unnecessary entity, but somewhere along the line (when we declared a war on drugs) we as a people got duped into allowing the government to create its own army to occupy the streets of our neighborhoods and given them almost total immunity against any sort of criminal charges. Some extreme reformation is in need when it comes to almost every facet of our criminal justice system, it never made since to me why instead of taking a law off the books weve always just written another law to counteract the previous, now i realize that its a lot easier to take power away from the people while simultaneously being able to get away with all sorts of atrocities unscathed when youve hidden a loophole for just about everything within our rule of law. Defund the cops. Pay the teachers. Educate the children. Eat the rich. Im out.

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