County employee charged in gas card use

Messiah Maurice Brown
Messiah Maurice Brown

UPDATED with additional information.

A county maintenance worker has been charged with 14 counts each of larceny by employee and obtaining property by false pretense after he allegedly used a county gas card to buy fuel.

Messiah Maurice Brown, 20, of 108 Townhouse Dr., Whiteville, was arrested Dec. 9 on warrants drawn by Det. D. Graham of the sheriff’s office.

Warrants show Brown used a county fleet fuel card to purchase fuel for personal vehicles on at least 14 occasions. In several cases, the warrants show Brown used the same fleet card on multiple sequential days, even purchasing fuel twice on Oct. 18.

The alleged incidents occurred between Oct. 6 and Nov. 7.
The sheriff’s office reported that the county purchasing department noticed “questionable purchases” on a county credit card, and contacted investigators.
Detectives found that a County of Columbus Maintenance Department gas card was unaccounted for, and the particular card was used to make multiple unauthorized gas purchases. All the charges were for premium fuel, according to the warrant, yet no county vehicles require premium gas.  Transactions also took place during weekends and times when the county Maintenance Department was closed. Some of the purchases were made in Myrtle Beach.

 Investigators obtained surveillance footage from the gas stations, and identified Brown on video using the stolen gas card.  

Brown confessed to using the gas card, and was fired Dec. 8. He was arrested Dec. 9, and placed under a $14,000 secured bond.

  • VBS6
    Church News

    VBS Guide for Summer 2023

    As schools close for the summer, Columbus County churches are setting up for their Vacation Bible Schools, From the eastern end to the west, there are plenty of opportunities for children and their families to [Read More]
  • Front Page

    The Good News June 3

    Dry weather and partly cloudy skies will make for a nice weekend in Columbus County. Get out and enjoy some of the events happening on Saturday. Be sure to log onto for absolutely free [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Stomach Bug Closes Hallsboro-Artesia

    Hallsboro Artesia Elementary School closed at 12:15 p.m. today, and will remain closed tomorrow due to an outbreak of a stomach virus. The county school system made the announcement this morning shortly before noon. Classes [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Mom’s Friend Charged in Murder Case

    The reported boyfriend of the mother of a woman found dead in April has been arrested. Brandon Wayne Mincey, 41, of Country Village Estates, Hallsboro, is being held under $750,000 secured bond. He faces one [Read More]
  • staff art
    Lead Story

    Two Injured in Monday Shootings

    Two shootings were reported in Columbus County on Monday, but neither victim sustained life-threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. Just after 1 p.m., a teenager reported that he was walking on a road in [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1386 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at