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Operation Stamp Out nets 61

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Sheriff’s office conducts massive drug roundup

By Chris Sardelli

Only moments before Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile unveiled the results of his office’s year-long undercover drug operation, dubbed Operation Stamp Out, deputies were still adding the names of new arrivals to their ever-increasing list of suspects. 

Sheriff’s office Maj. Matt Shaw said the tally of those arrested was 56 early Friday morning, Jan. 24, until one of his deputies brought in the arrest paperwork for five additional people.

“Minutes before the press conference, the deputy says ‘hold on, I’ve got five more,” Shaw said about the list, which then swelled to 61 names. 

The operation, which began a year ago and ended this week, was jointly conducted by members of the sheriff’s office and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED), who were organized into several “strike teams” that conducted drug and narcotics investigations throughout the county. 

Standing next to a large poster featuring 40 mug shots of people arrested during the operation, Faile said Operation Stamp Out has identified or arrested 61 people and charged them with 117 separate offenses. He said the operation, which spanned the whole county, was made even more successful through the support and tips from members of the community. 

“Lancaster County is 540-something square miles, and we had some people arrested in Kershaw, some in Indian Land, some in Lancaster, all over,” Faile said. 

Charges included trafficking marijuana, trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine, trafficking Schedule II controlled substances, distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and weapons law violations. 

Faile pointed out that not everyone included on the list had been arrested by Friday morning, with at least 19 people still at large. He also noted that not all the arrests were made at once, and some people were arrested multiple times for different charges. 

Also notable, Faile said, was that many of the suspects were already out on bond, several of them for violent crimes, including Melvin L. Sowell, Jr., who had previously been charged with murder. 

Sowell was charged Dec. 9, 2012, with murder in connection with the death of 25-year-old Michael Lamar Catoe of Heath Springs, according to a 2012 sheriff’s office press release. Catoe’s death was Lancaster County’s 13th violent death that year. 

A passerby called 911 after discovering Catoe’s body on the side of Beecher Horton Road in Heath Springs. Detectives eventually determined Catoe had been shot and died from his injuries. Investigators learned that Catoe was shot during an altercation on Arbor Drive in Kershaw and said that Sowell allegedly dumped Catoe’s body along the road, the release said.  

Many other suspects on the Operation Stamp Out list were also on probation at the time of their arrests. 

During the operation, investigators seized 32 grams of crack cocaine, 629 grams of cocaine, 343 doses of prescription controlled substances, 27 pounds of marijuana, 12 firearms, and more than $10,000 in cash. The estimated total value of the seizures is approximately $70,000, according to statistics released by the sheriff’s office on Friday.  

“We think it’s a huge success any time you can get such a huge concentration of drugs and people doing drugs off the street,” Faile said during the conference. 

The main objectives of the operation were to target specific high-crime areas and target suppliers dealing with larger quantities of drugs in an effort to identify leaders in the local drug trade, the release said. 

Another important part of the operation was to serve warrants targeting drug offenders and others with outstanding warrants throughout the county. 

“Since 2009 we’ve worked hard to get drug dealers off the streets, but this is no bigger than any of our other operations,” Faile said. “We conduct one of these undercover operations every year. Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing, but we do one of these every year.” 

When asked if the arrests revealed connections to other crimes or criminal organizations, such as gangs, Faile was mum on the details.

“It has led us to other places and that’s all I can say at this time,” he said. 

Now that the operation has reached its conclusion, everyone who was arrested will answer for their charges in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which includes Lancaster County. 

“As far as the gun charges, we’re not sure about the ATF (the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). That has yet to be determined,” Faile said. 

The entire group was scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge on Friday.

“They’ll appear one by one, all out at the detention center,” he said. 

Faile congratulated members of the joint operation for their hard work in identifying and arresting suspects, which was one of the goals he set for his agency when he took office in 2009. 

“This latest crackdown is merely another phase in our ongoing battle to get illicit drugs off our streets and keep them off our streets for as long as we can. Many of these offenders are also linked to violent crimes that occur in our county and we are committed to getting them off the street,” he said. 

He hopes the operation will send a clear message to drug dealers, buyers and users in the county.

“I want everyone who is dealing drugs in Lancaster County to know that we are always watching and always working to find you. You will be caught,” Faile said. 

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416

 

Mary Blair, 39, 109-A Clyde St., Heath Springs, distribution of marijuana (still wanted)

Myrone Blair, 35, 3853 Spirit Road, Heath Springs, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking marijuana, possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime

Barry Johnson, 19, 107 N. Market St., distribution of crack cocaine (still wanted)

Carol Ott, 50,  3658 Knot Lane, Heath Springs, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance (still wanted)

Trent Ordway, 20, 2306 Zion Road, unlawful obtaining of a schedule IV controlled substance  

Garion Mackey, 36, 208 Barron Blvd., distribution of  crack cocaine, third offense distribution of  crack cocaine (was out on bond for violent crimes at the time of arrest)

Paul Adams, 35, 5155 Shiloh Unity Road, theft of Schedule IV narcotics, theft of Schedule II narcotics (still wanted, currently out on bond for a violent crimes arrest)

Cash P. Young, 24, 305-B E. Sumter St., Kershaw, distribution of crack cocaine (was out on bond for violent crimes at the time of arrest)

Alton Mackey, 69, 3353 Major Evans Road, Distribution of  a Schedule II controlled narcotic (still wanted)

Sandra M. Caruso, 47, 251 South Ave., distribution of a Schedule II controlled narcotic 

Tracey G. Diaz, 31, Rock Hill, distribution of a controlled II narcotic (still wanted)

Roland S. Thomas, 48, 2782 Flowergate Farm Road, distribution of a Schedule II controlled narcotic  

Joseph Jamar Hinson, 27, 1134 Laurel Ave., distribution of cocaine

Reco D. Hayden, Jr., 20, Fort Mill, distribution of marijuana (was out on bond for violent crimes at the time of arrest)

David Wayne Roberts, 58, Powell Ave., distribution of a Schedule II controlled narcotic (still wanted) 

Jeremy S. Hudson, 34, 1636 Home Circle, distribution of a Schedule II controlled narcotic (still wanted)

Jeffery L. Reed Jr., 19, 5049 Sedgefield Drive, distribution of marijuana

James E. Sanders, 55, 934 10th St. Lancaster, distribution of crack cocaine

Richard J. Stewart, 38, 105 Willowlake Road, distribution of crack cocaine (two counts)

Franklin Curry, 32, 1595 Springdale Road, distribution of crack cocaine 

James Junior Clark, 43, 1751 Flat Creek Road, distribution of crack cocaine 

Michael J. Ealey, 32, 1508 Holly Hill Apartments, distribution of crack cocaine

Cherish C. Faile, 26, 2240 Lord Road, distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, unlawful possession of a prescription drug (three counts), possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (two counts)

Maurice McGriff Jr., 36, 1169 Duckwood Road, distribution of marijuana

Derrick T. Brown, 28, 600 E. Richland St., Kershaw, distribution of cocaine (two counts)

Mitchell McKenzie, 29, 5149 Shiloh Unity Road, trafficking cocaine (still wanted)

Carlos A. Jones, 39, 1842 Feature Road, trafficking cocaine, (still wanted, currently out on bond for a  violent crimes arrest)

Scottie V. Duncan, 42, 1405 Crestfield Drive, distribution of cocaine

J.C. Hall, 74, 1895 Steele Hill Road, Van Wyck, distribution of crack cocaine  of crack cocaine  (currently jailed by S.C. Department of Corrections)

Melvin L. Sowell Jr., 25, 108 Harris St., Heath Springs, or 606 E. Richland St., Kershaw, distribution of crack cocaine (two counts), distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park (was out on bond for murder at the time of his arrest)

Joshua S. Mann, 21, 9657 Black Horse Run, Indian Land, distribution of marijuana (two counts)

Carlos Stewart, 30, 1881 Steele Hill Road, Van Wyck, distribution of marijuana (still wanted)

Daniel Ali Thompson, 27, 195 Pineridge Drive, Kershaw, distribution of crack cocaine, trafficking cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park (two counts), possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance,  possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within proximity of a park, trafficking crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute a  Schedule IV controlled substance within proximity of a park, possession with intent to distribute a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana within a proximity of a park, possession with intent to distribute a Schedule III controlled substance (was out on bond for violent crimes charges at the time of his arrest)

Bryan J. Williams, 35, 236 Railroad Ave., Kershaw, distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park

Billy F. Crimminger, 49, 1684 Baskins Hill Road, Heath Springs, distribution of  a Schedule II controlled narcotic (five counts),  distribution of  a Schedule II controlled narcotic within proximity of a park (three counts), possession with intent to distribute a  Schedule II controlled narcotic (two counts)

Denise Marie Gibson, 51, 1631 Old Hillside Drive, distribution of a Schedule IV controlled narcotic (still wanted)

Dustin Lamar Jones, 25, 2388 Walnut Road, distribution of marijuana (still wanted)

Michael L. Carnes, 30,1547 Caskey Road, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute  

Adrian L. Miller, 37, 321 W. Perry St., Heath Springs, distribution of crack cocaine (two counts),   distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park (two counts); currently jailed by S.C. Department of Corrections 

Gary Reed Izzard, 51,103 Belton St., Kershaw, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine

Andrew J. Parks, 20, 8305 Henry Harris Road, Indian Land, distribution of marijuana

Anne D. Ott, 52, 7414 Henry Harris Road, Indian Land, distribution of Oxycodone 

Richard N. Faulkenberry, 23, 2811 Woodland Way, distribution of marijuana (still wanted)

Travis Bailey, 34, 3366 Oakridge Circle, distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park (still wanted)

Desmond J. McGriff, 30, 3586 Legacy Road, distribution of marijuana (still wanted)

Audrey H. Glasson, 25, 321 W. Perry St., Heath Springs, distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine within proximity of a park

Lakeisha Gaston, 29, 2198 Pacer Drive, trafficking marijuana, possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime, resisting arrest

Stacey Sherrill, 40, 869 W. Brooklyn Ave., distribution of a controlled substance 

Evan Collins, 36,1375 Lymon Reese Road, distribution of a controlled substance (still wanted)

Tiquana Felder, 37, Apt. 2-A, 638 Kershaw Country Club Road, Kershaw, trafficking cocaine (still wanted) 

Mandrell Brown, 32, 623 Trailer Court, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance (arrested while out a bond for a violent crimes charge)

Sherman McCain, 29, 4057 Fork Hill Road, Kershaw, trafficking cocaine, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance within proximity of a park,  possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within proximity of a park, trafficking crack cocaine, possession of a firearm during commission of violent crime

Roger Ross, 64, 1955 Steele Hill Road, second offense distribution of crack cocaine (currently jailed by S.C. Department of Corrections)

Roy Junior Johnson, 56, 2659 J.B. Denton Road, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of  methamphetamine 

Brandy L. Arant, 23, 1028 Flint Ridge Road, Heath Springs, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of  methamphetamine 

Kristopher Rumsey, 31,2388 Doc Holiday Circle, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of  methamphetamine 

Allison Mills, 25, 1006 Hudson St., manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of  methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance 

Michael Eason, 23, 466 Bevy Lane, Heath Springs, possession of methamphetamine

Robin Ashley Lucas, 24, Holly Hill Apartments, possession of methamphetamine