Year-Long Heroin Trafficking Investigation Lands 14 in Jail

Investigation into Heroin Trafficking Leads to 14 Arrests, 5 Suspects Still Sought

heroin traffickingA year-long investigation into heroin trafficking in Sumter County has led to the arrests of 14 suspects. Police are still searching for five suspects.

The heroin trafficking investigation was a joint effort between the Sumter Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, with help from the Orangeburg Police Department, state Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, Immigration Services, and federal Homeland Security.

Officers seized drug paraphernalia, heroin and other drugs, and guns in connection with the heroin trafficking operation which they began investigating in April 2013. Among items seized were 11 grams of crack cocaine, 27 grams of cocaine, 7 grams of heroin, 15 grams of marijuana, and $9,877 in cash.

Between October and November 2013, officers arrested the following suspects:

  • Quinton Hardy, 31, Sumter: charged with two counts distribution of heroin.
  • Keishawn Brown, 31, Sumter: charged with wo counts trafficking heroin and four counts distribution of heroin.
  • Maurice Lowery, 40, Sumter: charged with two counts distribution of heroin, possession of heroin and trafficking heroin.
  • Julia Garrison, 28, Sumter: charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.
  • Joseph Vipperman, 29, Sumter: charged with possession of heroin.

Tuesday, April 1st, investigators arrested:

  • Lyndon Obrian Allen, 31, Sumter: charged with two counts distribution of heroin, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a Schedule 3 controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute heroin, manufacturing of crack cocaine, violation of S.C. gun law and felon in possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
  • Bernard Leon Witherspoon, 21, Wegefield: charged with distribution of heroin, trafficking heroin, two counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Reports indicate $6,020 and rounds of ammunition also were found during his arrest.
  • Jennifer Teresa McCauley, 29, Sumter: harged with distribution of heroin and violation of S.C. gun law.
  • Latonya Benjamin, 30, Sumter: charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
  • Frederick Benjamin, 34, Sumter: charged with two counts conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of cocaine.
  • Bennie Haynesworth, 33, Sumter: charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of marijuana-2nd offense.

Police are still searching for the five following suspects in the heroin trafficking investigation:

  • Jeffery Dewayne Sanders, 28
  • Sherman Desmond Coleman, 32
  • Travies Auntwan Isaac Gray, 23
  • Tony Bell, 30
  • Stanley Jerome Pinckney, 24

If you know where to find the people listed above, or if you have any information regarding the investigation, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-Crime SC.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Drug Charges from Simple Possession to Heroin Trafficking

The penalties for a drug trafficking conviction in South Carolina are severe. Your rights, freedom, and future are at stake.

Trafficking charges are based upon the weight of the drug you are in possession of:

  • Ten grams of cocaine
  • Four grams of heroin
  • Ten pounds of marijuana

Penalties for drug trafficking can include a minimum sentencing of 25 years. Trafficking and distribution offenses are considered violent, no-parole offenses and a conviction can certainly have you serving the full time you are sentenced to.

Drug charges, including methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription drugs, need to be examined from every angle, and in many cases are subject to mandatory minimum sentences. Aggressive representation can protect your future. Drug crime charges and drug busts in South Carolina are very serious. If you have been charged with possession, trafficking, or manufacturing drugsthe attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today by calling (803)252-4800.

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