Five arrested, one sought in major drug sweep

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By Chris Sardelli

Five people were arrested, one  is wanted and a significant amount of drugs and weapons were seized, during a series of unrelated sweeps by the Lancaster County Drug Task Force during a 10-day stretch earlier this month. 


Investigators made the first arrest July 12 after noticing Sidney Mandrell Hall, 29, of Florence, driving a vehicle along Rocky River  Road (S.C. 522), according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office press release.  

As the investigators tried to pull him over, Hall started throwing drugs and a handgun out of the vehicle, the release said.  

Hall eventually stopped, resisted arrest and was ultimately taken into custody.

During a search of his vehicle, investigators found and seized cocaine, crack cocaine, a handgun, digital scales and cash, the release said.

He was charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine, possession of a firearm by a violent felon, failure to stop for a blue light and siren, and resisting arrest, the release said. 

Hall remained jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center on Monday, July 28, on a $65,000 surety bond.  

The second incident was July 17, as the task force investigated a report of a possible methamphetamine lab inside a home at 763 Rock Hill Highway (S.C. 5).  

Using a search warrant, investigators searched the home and found a meth lab, along with handgun and marijuana, the release said. 

Investigators arrested two people who live there – Todd Michael Helms, 36, who was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste and possession of marijuana, and Michael Maximillan Hunter, 43, who was charged with possession of marijuana, the release said. 

Both Helms and Hunter were jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center. Helms remained jailed Monday on a $50,000 surety bond, while Hunter was released on a $620 bond.  

Several more arrests were made July 22 after the drug task force conducted surveillance outside a home at 3242 Camp Creek Road. 

During that investigation, they arrested Roy Johnson, 57, who lived there, and was wanted on outstanding magistrate court bench warrants, the release said.  

After getting permission to search his home, investigators found an active one-pot  methamphetamine cook in progress. The investigators seized drug paraphernalia and more than 70 grams of methamphetamine liquid, the release said.  

Johnson was then charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine. 

Also arrested was Joy Lingle, 51, same address. Lingle was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine.

Another man, Robert Baker, 40, of Cassatt, was also present during the search, though he left before the meth lab was found. 

Baker, is still wanted by the sheriff’s office. Warrants charging him with manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine have been issued, the release said.  

Both Johnson and Lingle remained jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center on Monday, each on a $100,000 bond. 

Dangerous drugs like crack cocaine and methamphetamine have always been a priority for our agency,” said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile. “Drugs like these affect our entire community and we are always working to get people who poison our society off of our streets. These are serious offenses and I am thankful for the hard work our drug task force put into making these arrests.”


Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416