Investigation targets "grow house" in Marion Co.

Marion, SC - MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Officials in Marion County released information Wednesday afternoon regarding a series of drug busts and arrests made throughout the day.

South Carolina 12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements said 13 individuals were arrested Wednesday following an in-depth, long-term investigation throughout Marion County. Officers from Marion County, Marion Police, and Mullins Police began making the multiple arrests at 4:30 a.m.

One of the most notable raids, according to Clements, involved a large "grow house" just outside of Mullins that contained sophisticated equipment to grow marijuana. Clements estimated the street value of the marijuana seized in the raid could amount to nearly $1 million per year.

Clements said the arrests and the grow house bust cut into the heart of a drug ring in Marion County. He said he believes several important players in the ring were arrested.

"We worked individuals and we worked leads where we could put this whole gang together, and we made a big strike on the whole gang [Wednesday]," the solicitor stated in an afternoon press conference. "I hope they feel like their empire is crumbling."

Of the 13 individuals taken into custody, law enforcement officers arrested a man they believe is the mastermind behind a 2008 motel shooting. Clements alleges Devares Brantley planned the murder-for-hire death of Kanisha McLaughlin at the Imperial Motel in  Mullins.

During the arrests, Clements added four guns, $10,000 in cash and other drugs were seized. All suspects arrested in the Wednesday raids could face state and federal charges.

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