LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A man serving a prison sentence for a 2016 attempted armed robbery pleaded guilty Monday in Laurens County to trafficking methamphetamine.

Officials said 30-year-old Kevin Matthew Bowlin pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking methamphetamine 28 to 100 grams.

According to officials, Bowlin’s criminal record exposed him to a potential life sentence if he had been convicted at trial. He chose to change his plea to guilty prior to his case being called to trial before a jury.

Bowlin was serving an active prison sentence he received after pleading guilty in 2017 to a charge of attempted armed robbery in connection to a Greenwood County incident where he attempted to rob a man at gunpoint and struck the man several times with the butt of his gun.

In May 2019, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office performed a traffic stop on a vehicle. Deputies discovered an extensive quantity of methamphetamine in the automobile.

Through the course of the investigation, deputies discovered that the drugs were a part of the meth ring being run by Bowlin from behind prison walls. He was being held at Lieber Correctional Facility in Dorchester County at the time of the traffic stop.

Guards searched Bowlin’s cell and found him attempting to wipe clean a contraband cell phone. The contents of the phone linked Bowlin directly to the narcotics found in Laurens County.

Circuit Judge R. Ferrell Cothran Jr. sentenced Bowlin to a 20-year sentence with no parole eligibility.