Beaufort News

Prominent contractor to be featured in fundraiser despite pending drug charge

A Lady's Island contractor will participate in a popular fundraising event this weekend despite a pending felony drug charge, event organizers say.

Trey Ambrose, 45, the president of Pro Slab Concrete Inc., will join nine other prominent local men Saturday for the second annual "Beaufort Beauties" pageant fundraiser at the Dataw Island Club. The pageant is hosted by Main Street Beaufort, USA and features well-known Beaufort-area men dressed in drag.

Ambrose was charged by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in February 2010 with one count of trafficking cocaine, a felony charge that has yet to be adjudicated, according to court records.

Since the pageant was created, Main Street Beaufort has recruited several community leaders to take part, including Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling and city manager Scott Dadson. This year's participants include Kendall Erickson, the husband of state Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, and Randall Burch, the owner of Lowcountry Winery and chairman of Main Street's board of directors.

LaNelle Fabian, Main Street's executive director, was not aware of the pending charge Wednesday but said some of the organization's board members knew about the arrest and did not feel it was inappropriate for Ambrose to participate.

"Because it's still a pending charge, we're just going to let it go," Fabian said. "He hasn't been convicted, and you're innocent until proven guilty."

Attempts Wednesday to reach Ambrose were unsuccessful.

Ambrose is accused of selling 10 grams of cocaine to a Sheriff's Office confidential informant in April 2009 at a parking lot at the Hilton Head Island Airport, according to a Sheriff's Office incident report.

The report said Ambrose flew from the Beaufort County Airport on Lady's Island to Hilton Head to meet the informant who purchased the cocaine from Ambrose for $10,000 while deputies watched and listened.

The informant told members of the Beaufort-Jasper Multi-Agency Drug Task Force he had purchased drugs from Ambrose several times before, the report said.

No trial date has been set, according to 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone's office.

If convicted, Ambrose faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, according to state law.