Yes, we can report that the socialites on the Charleston Peninsula who have been holding their collective breath and praying they aren’t suspects in the Ravenel cocaine case can hold a big party sometime in 2012 (drug-free, of course). Ravenel was indicted in June 2007 of passing out cocaine to his friends.

The news Thursday that a fourth man, Pascal Andre Etcheber, had been indicted for allegedly giving false statements during the 2007 investigation led us to wonder just how long this drama could go.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin McDonald tells the City Paper that there is a five year statute of limitations on the case. So Ravenel’s pals should start marking their calendars from the last time they partied with the former state Treasurer or the last time they spoke with investigators.

Etcheber was one of an unknown number of Charlestonians whom investigators approached in the process of the Ravenel investigation, according to McDonald. The indictment against Etcheber states that his alleged false statements included “his involvement in the illegal possession, use, and distribution of cocaine, and his knowledge of drug activities of other persons.”

McDonald couldn’t expound on these “other persons,” though he did say other arrests were possible.