Agent who wired C-I testifies

A federal law enforcement officer who wired a confidential informant to record a conversation with James Bartee testified for the prosecution to finish day one of the trial in the Oconee General Sessions Court. Because of the nature of the officer’s undercover duties, the court has requested media covering the trial not to identify the officer by name. Besides equipping Nick Blackwell with a hidden wire and transmitter, the witness said his other purpose as part of the investigation dealt with evaluating Blackwell to establish his credibility. The officer said the conversation took place at Bartee’s home and he monitored the conversation from a nearby location. The jury this week has heard testimony that Blackwell claimed Bartee approached him with a request to kidnap a retired judge who was pusuing a legal challenge to Bartee’s eligiblity to run for Oconee Sheriff. On cross-examination, Bartee’s lawyer questioned why the officer, who works for a federal agency, was there. According to the witness, he got involved because of a request from another law enforcement agency.