Neighbors combat drugs, prostitution on their streets - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Neighbors feel relief after DEU raid

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Three people have been arrested on narcotic charges after the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant in a neighborhood residents say used to be a quiet resting place.

Officers arrested 49 year old Toni Pellegrino, 20 year old Brittney Gregson, and 30 year old Dennis Krasinski at 100 Split Oak Court in the Brandymill neighborhood.

Among the substances and drug paraphernalia recovered by officers were Oxycodone, Xanax, two grams of marijuana, and hypodermic needles.

Neighbors say they chose Brandymill as quiet spot to call home, but say the world's oldest profession has moved in, and put neighbors on edge for more than a year.

"There's been 350 different cars coming through here since June 6," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. "They only come by for three or four minutes, then leave like they're picking up or delivering drugs. We think there's that kind of activity, and possibly prostitution."

Neighbors describe Thursday's raid as bringing with it a wave of relief. Many of them sat and watched the whole ordeal take place.

"We sat on the front porch," said neighbor Irene Dellagnena. "There were about five or six cars, they weren't market. But, you can tell they were police vehicles."

Homeowners say they've been trying to tackle this issue for over a year, taking photos to document the activity and calling multiple law enforcement agencies, but say they've had no luck.

"I called the DEA," said the neighbor. "I told him I had pictures documenting what was going on. He said ‘I can't come out today, but I will tomorrow.' No one ever came."

When we first reported this story on October 1, WMBF News also made calls to Horry County Police regarding complaints made by neighbors, though officers say they had no record of complaints in that area.

Other neighbors took matters into their own hands. One member of the HOA, Joe Peha, has put up signs warning against criminal activity, and contacted WMBF News. He says he's pleased with the fruits of his labor.

"It lit a match," he said. "Since that broadcast, there's been surveillance vehicles here all the time."

But Peha says other neighbors have more active ideas, like a neighborhood watch or planned confrontation. Peha thinks that could cause too much trouble.

"Several people in the area are armed," Peha said. "I would guess if they do a confrontation, they'd have weapons with them."

Commander Knowles with the 15th Circuit DEU adds that they served a search warrant on that same home nearly eight months ago and a handful of people were taken into custody during that investigation.
 
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