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Sheriff’s office active in tracking down fugitives

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Seven arrests made since July 22

By Chris Sardelli

Fugitive tracking has recently become a major part of the daily grind for members of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. 

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Though the sheriff’s office has always been responsible for searching for wanted criminals and assisting other agencies with respective hunts, deputies have spent a significant amount of time during the last few weeks tracking down fugitives. 

Since July 22, deputies have tracked down at least seven people within the borders of Lancaster County who were wanted on outstanding warrants from other local, state and federal agencies. 

The first fugitive case began July 22 when deputies received a call from the York County Sheriff’s Office about a wanted man. 

York County deputies were searching for Christopher Paul Rollins, 38, 2341 Camp Creek Road. 

Rollins was wanted in York County on two outstanding warrants for conspiracy and grand larceny more than $2,000 and less than $10,000, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report. 

The two groups of deputies met later that day and went to Rollins’ last known address, where he was found and arrested.

 He was then taken to the Lancaster County Detention Center to be booked and was immediately taken into custody by York County deputies. 

At about 5:30 p.m. July 24, Sheriff’s Office Lt. Vincent Webb made a routine traffic stop on a car in the 300 block of Brooklyn Avenue, an incident report said. 

Webb noticed a passenger was Thomas Oneal McGriff, 26, 719 Taylor St., who was wanted by S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, the report said. 

He was arrested and taken to the detention center. 

Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Shaw said the warrant was most likely for violating some aspect of his probation or parole, which can range from not reporting to an assigned probation officer or another arrest. 

“He (McGriff) had previous criminal charges and was either sentenced to prison and was paroled or he had probation, and undoubtedly he did something he was not supposed to do,” Shaw said. 

On July 31, deputies once again assisted York County authorities as they searched for a wanted man, this time responding to an Indian Land home, another incident report said. 

Agents with the York County Drug Enforcement team asked for help finding John Christopher Faure, 20, 6733 Kaci Lane, Indian Land. 

“This guy was wanted on drug charges and we had some information that he was in Lancaster County, so we went and found him,” Shaw said. 

The team then arrested Faure for two outstanding warrants, for distribution of controlled substances and distribution of heroin, Shaw said. 

Faure was booked at the detention center and then turned over to the custody of York County drug enforcement agents, the report said. 

A day later, on Aug. 1, deputies assisted the Pageland Police Department and the U.S. Marshals in tracking down a Kershaw man wanted in the shooting of another man in Pageland on July 21. 

The task force tracked down Derrick Thomas Brown, 28, 206 Three C’s Road, inside a Kershaw Country Club Drive home, and arrested him on several counts of assault and battery and possession of a firearm in commission of a violent crime, according to the warrants.

And on Aug. 2, deputies served Donald Joseph Wheeler III, 27, 3231 Cedar Circle, with an outstanding General Sessions warrant, issued on July 15, for failure to appear in court for trial as ordered, a report said. 

Deputies had arrested Wheeler for the Aug. 1   first-degree burglary and third-degree arson in the arson of a mobile home in the 3200 block of Cedar Circle, a sheriff’s office press release said.  

“Wheeler was wanted by the Lancaster Police Department from another incident and we just happened to find him here,” Shaw said. 

Happenstance

That type of happenstance helps deputies find wanted people all the time, Shaw said. 

“Sometimes we find people by accident and sometime we find them because other agencies have information they’re here in Lancaster, it just depends,” Shaw said. 

“The way NCIC (National Criminal Information Center system) works is the agency that has a warrant can enter that info into NCIC and then law enforcement agencies anywhere in the country can see that they’re wanted.”

NCIC tracks wanted or missing persons, stolen cars and other crime-related information in a national database.

He said sometimes they find people while on foot patrol or during a traffic stop. 

“We run their information and NCIC shows they are wanted by another agency. If that agency is willing to extradite, then we arrest them and bring them to the detention center and that agency comes and gets them,” Shaw said. 

That exact situation happened twice recently during two routine traffic stops. 

Just before 1 a.m. July 28, a sheriff’s office traffic enforcement team stopped a silver Honda along Grace Avenue for a traffic violation, an incident report said. 

Deputies identified a  passenger as Christopher Mitchell Horton, 20, 1708 Drywood Circle, who was wanted by the Lancaster Police Department on a fraud warrant. Horton was arrested and taken directly to the police department to be booked. 

According to a NCIC check, Horton was wanted on the charge of crimes against a federally chartered institution. 

“This is one of those cases where they just happened upon this guy,” Shaw said. 

A few days later, on Aug. 2, a traffic enforcement team stopped a white Chevrolet Blazer along McIlwain Road. Deputies identified the passenger as James Keith Spears, 24, 705 Community Lane, who was wanted by the police department on an outstanding warrant for failing to enroll in the S.C. Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, a report said. 

“He must have been required to attend the program, but didn’t, so they issued a bench warrant on him through Municipal Court,” Shaw said. 

Shaw lauded the NCIC as a useful tool in allowing agencies to help each other. 

“We work together with  

other agencies to make things happen,” he said. 

“We’ll go check those areas and find that person for them because if someone is committing crimes in another county and then come into our county, that’s as much a danger to our citizens and our property as well.” 

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416