ATLANTA - Former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was sentenced Friday to 10 months in jail and ordered to pay almost $250,000 in fines and restitution on charges that he conspired to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

The drug activity was alleged to have occurred prior to Ravenel's election in 2006. He was indicted last July by U.S. attorney Reginald Lloyd for buying and intending to share less than 500 grams of cocaine in 2005. He could have faced up to 20 years in jail and a fine as large as $1 million.

The punishment includes a fine of about $221,000 and restitution to the state in the amount of about $29,000. Ravenel is expected to begin serving his jail sentence in a federal prison within the next five months, ruled U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson.

Ravenel, 46, a developer who campaigned for treasurer on the virtues of running government finances as a business, defeated Grady Patterson, who had held the position for more than 30 years.

Ravenel was replaced last year as treasurer by Converse A. Chellis 3d, who was elected in August by the General Assembly. Chellis was first elected to the General Assembly in 1996 and served as a representative from District 94 for 10 years

Chellis will serve the remainder of Ravenel's term, which is about three and a half years.

Ravenel's actions did not directly affect the state's finances, as he was not accused of any wrongdoing in handling the state's dollars.

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