Former Chester County supervisor sentenced to 7 years in prison on drug trafficking charge

Kenneth Stuart pleaded guilty to four charges and was remanded into custody.
Kenneth Shane Stuart was sentenced to seven years on a drug trafficking charge.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A former Chester County elected official who had been indicted on a slew of serious charges faced a judge on Friday morning.

Kenneth Stuart, a former county supervisor, pleaded guilty to four charges and was remanded into custody.

Stuart, who was a two-time elected official, will be behind bars for at least the next seven years after he pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine, misconduct in office, trafficking methamphetamine, and criminal conspiracy.

This all stems from a grand jury investigation into alleged official misconduct in Chester County, known as “Absolutely Investigation.”

The targets of the investigation—former Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood—and Stuart.

The grand jury said Stuart entered a romantic relationship with a county animal control worker he met on a dating site in 2020. It said the two quickly became accomplices in distributing and trafficking meth.

Stuart’s criminal conspiracy charge stems from a plan to steal catalytic converters from the county fleet lot. The state alleges he agreed to destroy security camera footage for his accomplices.

The state also has alleged that Stuart used his county vehicle to transport meth through Chester County. He is accused of transporting meth to several surrounding counties as well.

“The reason why they used the county vehicle is obvious,” a prosecutor said. “Because what law enforcement officer is going to stop the county supervisor in his county vehicle? What law enforcement officer is going to believe that the county supervisor, the elected county supervisor, is trafficking meth in his county vehicle? Well that’s precisely what Mr. Stuart was doing.

Stuart was immediately taken into custody when court concluded to begin serving his sentence.

Sentences for the other three charges—distribution of meth, criminal conspiracy, and misconduct in office—will be determined at a later date.

Stuart is required to cooperate with the state for the remainder of the investigation.

Related: Former Chester County sheriff ordered to report to prison next week, court documents say