Another ‘most wanted’ arrest

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Ellis now behind bars

By Chris Sardelli

One of Lancaster County’s “Most Wanted” was tracked down June 1 after he was arrested by Fort Lawn police officers during a traffic checkpoint.
Justin Edward Ellis, 28, of Fort Lawn, was transferred to the Lancaster County Detention Center shortly after he was taken into custody by Fort Lawn police officers, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Fort Lawn officers noticed Ellis had several active outstanding warrants in Lancaster County and turned him over to a deputy at the Catawba Fish Camp, the report said.
Once at the detention center, Lancaster County sheriff’s deputies served him with several outstanding warrants, including two separate charges of pointing and presenting a firearm, said Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Matt Shaw.
Ellis was also served with three outstanding Magistrate Court bench warrants, for charges of driving under suspension, first and second offense, as well driving without a license, first offense, the report said.
The first DUS charge carries a fine of $652.50 or 30 days in jail, plus $130 court costs, while the second DUS charges carries a fine of $1,275 or 60 days in jail, plus $130 court costs, the report said. The driving without a license charge carries a fine of $237.50 or 30 days in jail, plus a $30 court cost.
Deputies also noticed Ellis was listed as wanted in the National Criminal Information Center database by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, a separate sheriff’s incident report said. He was wanted for failure to pay a wildlife fine from Jan. 19, 2012.
Shaw said the monthly Most Wanted list prepared by the sheriff’s office has helped them track down several wanted offenders since its inception last year.
“We haven’t gotten them all, but I’m pretty positive that every time we run it in the newspaper, we’ve gotten at least a couple of ‘em due to tips we’re received,” Shaw said on Thursday. “We’re not batting 1,000, of course, but we’re getting some.”
Weapons charges
The two charges of pointing and presenting a weapon stem from an April 20 incident where two Lancaster residents reported that Ellis pointed a handgun at them.
Deputies responded to the 900 block of Suttle Road and spoke with one of the victims, who said he was inside a shop building playing pool when he noticed a white SUV pull into the driveway, according to an April sheriff’s office incident report.
He told deputies he has been concerned about the driver’s activities in the neighborhood, so he approached the SUV and told the driver to leave.
The two men began arguing and the driver then allegedly poked the man in the nose, the report said. The man then punched the driver, though the driver responded by pointing a gun at him and threatening to shoot, the report said.
A visibly upset 18-year-old woman told deputies she heard the two men arguing, saw the driver poke the man’s face and then saw the man hit the driver. The woman told deputies she pulled the man away, but the driver then pulled out a black handgun.
The driver then cocked the gun and pointed it at the man, holding it sideways, the report said.
The woman began screaming and pleaded for the driver not to shoot the man. The two victims backed away and the driver left the scene, the report said.
Sheriff Barry Faile confirmed later that week that investigators had identified Ellis as the driver and issued two warrants for his arrest.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416