Traffic stop lands drug, cash discovery - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Sheriff's office cracks down on interstate crime

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Drug and cash recovery from Friday night traffic stop (Source: Darlington County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page) Drug and cash recovery from Friday night traffic stop (Source: Darlington County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page)
Christopher Myers (Source: Darlington County Sheriff's Office) Christopher Myers (Source: Darlington County Sheriff's Office)
Eric Owens (Source: Darlington County Sheriff's Office) Eric Owens (Source: Darlington County Sheriff's Office)

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Two Horry County men were arrested Friday afternoon for what began as a minor traffic stop.

The two men were pulled in a routine traffic stop by Darlington County deputies which led to a drug discovery.

According to Captain Andy Locklair with Darlington County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Christopher Myers, of Myrtle Beach, and Eric Owens, 22, of Horry County, were traveling from Charlotte, NC to Myrtle Beach when their vehicle was pulled over Friday afternoon.

The vehicle was pulled over for a routine traffic violation, but led to the discovery of three pounds of marijuana and close to $3,000 cash in the car.

"Officers from the Sheriff's Office who work in the Interstate on I-20, they stopped a car for a minor traffic violation. During that stop the occupants of that car had conflicting stories about where and what they were doing," Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said.

The two men gave officers permission to search their car. Sheriff Byrd said the county has focused on criminal activity going on throughout Interstate 20 for four years. Last year alone the county seized seven kilograms of cocaine along with numerous guns and it caught several fugitives.

"We've seen an increase of drug traffic on I-20 since the last few years there's been so much attention on 95," Sheriff Byrd said.

The actions by the sheriff's office are no shock to residents who drive that route.

"I actually drive I 20 everyday to Lugoff. I'm on the road probably at 6:30 every morning and 5 o'clock every afternoon and I see Law Enforcement on a daily basis," Holly Harrington said.

Harrington said she drives I-20 on a daily basis and it gives her peace of mind to know officers are paying attention to the area she lives.

"I hear negative comments about why our police officers, all of them wasting their time and spending money on the Interstate trying to stop all these drugs. But people don't realize that that comes to here, to our kids, to our schools," Harrington said.

A state grant funded the first four years of the Interstate crackdown... but the county plans to keep the two positions because of the problems on I-20 today.

"Just like they started getting off at 95 because it's too much trouble, we want to make it too much trouble for them to come through here," Sheriff Byrd said.

Myers and Owens are each charged with one count of trafficking marijuana and were each given a $15,000 bond.

Capt. Locklair says the duo posted bond and were released from the Darlington County Detention Center on Saturday.

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