Jury convicts Laurens man as part of SC drug ring

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A Laurens man was convicted Tuesday of conspiracy to distribute cocaine as part of a large South Carolina drug ring.

Terry Demond Cunningham, 31, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack, as well as using a telephone in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes. Cunningham will be sentenced at a later date.

South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers stopped an individual in Orangeburg in May 2007 and seized more than $8,000 in cash. The stop led to a two-year Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation that resulted in drug trafficking and money laundering prosecutions of more than 50 people in the Richland and Orangeburg County areas of South Carolina, as well as prosecutions in Corpus Christi, Texas. Cunningham was the last defendant in the case to stand trial.

Cunningham was identified as a co-conspirator through intercepted wire taps of cellular phones. Prosecutors presented more than 30 recorded conversations that showed that Cunningham was buying large amounts of cocaine from April 2008 until October 2008. Cunningham was personally responsible for more than 15 kilograms of cocaine over the course of the conspiracy, and was converting the cocaine into crack cocaine for resale in the Laurens area.

When Cunningham was arrested in October 2008, he had in his possession more than $33,020 cash, and admitted that he had the money to buy more cocaine from his supplier.

Cunningham faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, and a maximum possible sentence of life imprisonment.

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