Ravenel requests to serve prison time without delay

COLUMBIA -- Former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel and a co-defendant want to serve their 10-month federal prison sentences for distributing cocaine immediately instead of waiting five months as allowed by a judge.

Ravenel, 45, of Charleston and Michael Miller, 26, of Mount Pleasant each filed letters Wednesday with U.S. District Judge Joe Anderson requesting that their sentences not be delayed. They didn't give a reason in their letters.

Anderson on Friday gave Ravenel and Miller five months to start their sentences to give authorities an opportunity to indict other people in the case so the pair, if they provided information leading to new indictments, could qualify for sentence reductions under federal sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutors and Ravenel's attorneys said in that hearing Ravenel was continuing to cooperate with authorities, though they didn't provide specifics. They said if he served a relatively short sentence, he might complete it before being eligible for a sentence reduction.

Authorities have said Miller, a self-employed disc jockey, sold powder cocaine to Ravenel, a multimillionaire commercial developer, over a period of months starting in 2005, and that Ravenel routinely passed it out to friends during parties at his Charleston mansion.

Ravenel and Miller were indicted June 19. Ravenel, who was elected state treasurer in November 2006, resigned his $92,000-a-year post after a July 24 court hearing.

As part of his sentence, Ravenel was ordered to pay a $221,323 fine and $28,676 in restitution to reimburse the state for the cost of a special legislative session to name Converse Chellis as his successor as state treasurer.