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Lexington County fugitive arrested in Camden

Posted: July 28, 2015 5:29 p.m.
Updated: July 29, 2015 1:00 a.m.
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James Fletcher "Les" Spires

With the help of local authorities, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD) arrested a man in Camden over the weekend who eluded them for 18 months.

According to a LCSO press release, deputies arrested James Fletcher “Les” Spires on a 2013 bench warrant with the help of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and Camden Police Department (CPD). The LCSO said Spires had been staying in a Camden office building.

CPD Chief Joe Floyd said his officers assisted in trying to locate Spires and checked into where he was staying.

“(Spires) was being allowed into a building currently under renovation on downtown Broad Street,” Floyd said.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said Spires managed to “stay off the grid” with the help of a system and a network of allies.

“When he would call associates and family members, he’d use techniques to conceal his telephone number and location,” Koon said.

Koon said Spires was involved in numerous church-related scams in which he’d raise funds for supposed ministry and missions activities. Spires was actively involved in a couple of Midlands churches, and scammed congregations in Lexington, Richland and Kershaw counties, as well as the greater Atlanta area.

Spires had been sentenced to one year in jail and fined more than $27,000 in connection to unpaid child support payments when he began hiding.

Although deputies been found and arrested Spires, Koon said the investigation into the case continues and anyone with information on Spires’ efforts to scam churches on bogus ministry and missions projects should contact the department at (803) 785-8230. Anonymous tips can be submitted at www.lexingtonsheriff.com.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said although Spires’ case was from Lexington County, his deputies routinely assist other agencies as needed.

“It’s been our policy to always cooperate and help other law enforcement agencies that need assistance in our county,” Matthews said.

(Editor Martin L. Cahn assisted with this story.)

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