(FreedomBeacon.com)- In the previous three years, political operative Jason Belton has worked for a wealthy Democrat’s presidential campaign, managed a U.S. Senate campaign, and been elected to a leadership position in the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Belton and a co-conspirator contacted the source of a narcotic in California in February 2017 to order substantial quantities of cocaine to distribute out of Columbia, S.C. According to the indictment, Belton received four kilograms of coke from San Bernardino narcotics dealer Estevan Ortiz, also known as “Stevie,” “Wonder,” and ‘Little Man.’
Belton was arrested in January 2018 in South Carolina. After a three-year investigation, Belton was later linked to a nationwide cocaine trafficking network that federal police captured in 2020. According to the US Attorney’s Office, their haul included 77 kg of cocaine, 9 kg of heroin, 150 lbs of methamphetamine, 989 fentanyl pills, 19 weapons, and over $2 million in cash. Following the arrest, prosecutors transferred Belton’s case to California, where it remains.
Despite Belton’s apparent illegality, the operative’s political sphere grew dramatically following his imprisonment. Belton joined liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign in August 2019, earning almost $40,000 in six months. Belton cofounded C&J Consulting with Steyer, who exited the race in February 2020. Matthews is opposing Republican Sen. Tim Scott in South Carolina. In January, a campaign manager for Matthews, Belton, was named the third chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party Black Caucus.
Belton’s political efforts did cross over with his criminal indictment. Belton persuaded the court to remove his GPS ankle monitor in March 2020, claiming it interfered with his “lobbying” job.
According to Belton’s lawyer, he wants to get rid of the GPS tracking requirement that he wear an ankle bracelet. “Belton says he’s a lobbyist and the electronic ankle bracelet hinders his frequent visits to the South Carolina State House in Columbia.”
Belton and the SCDP did not respond to calls for comment.
Belton has worked with a number of prominent South Carolina Democrats and Steyer and Matthews. Gubernatorial candidates Joe Cunningham and Mia McLeod and former presidential contender Jesse Jackson attended the Sunday Dinner in March. Vision Walkers, a group that describes itself as a “grassroots political action organization,” was also responsible for protecting House majority whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) during an event in Columbia in August 2020.
The operative’s trial has been postponed at least four times due to Belton’s federal narcotics case (the indictment names 23 more defendants). In August, Belton will go to trial in California, two months after Matthews faces two opponents in South Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary. But he won’t have to worry about travel expenses. According to Belton’s lawyer, the US Marshals Service must “provide defendant Jason Donnell Belton with plane travel, accommodation, and per diem subsistence expenses in connection with this case’s trial.”
Belton’s 2018 arrest was not his first major run-in with the authorities. Belton was arrested in 2007 for a drive-by shooting. Belton, who was 19 at the time of the incident, was sentenced to six months probation for “criminal conspiracy,” according to court records.
His criminal record and ongoing legal battle aren’t the only points of contention for South Carolina Democrats. Larry Belton’s business partner, Craig Khanwell, has long admired anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has compared Jews to termites. In the past, Khanwell has referred to Farrakhan as his father figure, praised Farrakhan as “the epitome of the greatest among men,” and argued that accusations of anti-Semitism are merely “a trick” to “stifle legitimate criticism of Jews and Zionist Israel.” Khanwell is the second chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Black Caucus.
Khanwell has also advocated for anti-vaccine conspiracy ideas that are severe. The vaccine would give Bill Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other “white” men “management over my molecular information,” he wrote on Instagram.
Khanwell also uploaded a TikTok in which he called COVID the “greatest hoax of America” and suggested that people who died from the virus may have died from the flu.