School board member charged with trafficking methamphetamine

​James M. Brooks
​James M. Brooks

A Lancaster County, S.C., school board member has been charged with trafficking methamphetamine, the county sheriff’s office says.

Deputies arrested James Brooks, 50, of Lancaster at about 3 a.m. Saturday morning after making a traffic stop. He’s been a school board member since 2014.

The sheriff’s office said a deputy was refueling his patrol car at a convenience store when “a citizen … suggested he check on” Brooks and a woman he was with inside the store. Deputies followed the pair when they left and stopped the car after seeing it swerve on the road.

Deputies saw an open bottle of beer in the car and detained the couple. They then found a metal tray with white powder residue on it under a passenger seat, the sheriff’s office said, and two bags of a white crystalline substance in Brooks’ jacket.

The substance tested positive for meth and weighed 24 grams. The sheriff’s office said deputies also found a substance believed to be marijuana and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in the car’s trunk.

The purse of Brooks’ companion, Carol Jean Broom, 37, of Fort Mill, S.C., contained two hypodermic needles, a spoon, a glass pipe and a butane torch lighter, deputies said.

Both were charged with trafficking meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brooks was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and simple possession of marijuana.

​“We’ve just learned of the incident,” schools Superintendent Gene Moore told the Lancaster News. “We’ll be continuing to gather information about the situation as well as assess any possible actions that may be required.”

The newspaper reported that Brooks had touted his record of community service in running for the school board. He was a charter member of the Indian Land Rotary Club, had served on the county zoning board of appeals for six years, and was a member of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and the county economic development corporation, it reported.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender