MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Marlboro County man and his wife were arrested after a months-long undercover investigation in which Marlboro County Sheriff's Office investigators made cocaine purchases, conducted surveillance, and produced intelligence on dealers they hope to use in an ongoing federal investigation.
Robert Keith Locklear, aka Big Lock, 33, 45-year-old Kimberly A Locklear, his wife, and Michael Lee Baum were arrested in connection with this investigation, Sheriff Fred Knight announced Thursday. Robert Locklear has a prior drug conviction.
The MCSO began an investigation into complaints of the Locklears at their residence in McColl several months ago, according to a release from the MCSO. Investigators made undercover cocaine purchases from the residence, conducted surveillance, and interviewed several witnesses and federal defendants in other cases.
"This Investigation was prompted months ago by complaints from citizens and family members of people who buy drugs from Keith Locklear," Sheriff Knight said. "We conducted surveillance of the residence in the beginning and the case quickly developed. This defendant ties in with other ongoing Federal cases we are working and hopefully will result in several indictments in the near future."
On Thursday, the MCSO, the Scotland County Sheriff's Office, and the NC State Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant on the residence, and contacted Baum at a residence in Scotland County, the release states. Baum has an extensive record from Florida and North Carolina. The warrant produced "great evidence" of the ongoing conspiracy in both states, and gave a "wealth of intelligence" on dealers, users and clients that officials hope to use in an ongoing federal investigation. The investigation potentially involves the Locklears and Baum, as well as other targets in the Marlboro, Scotland, and Robeson County areas.
"We were able to team up with our partners from NC and hopefully continue to fight these drugs at our border," Sheriff Knight added. "If anyone has any information related to drugs or this case, please continue to call."
Robert Locklear is charged with four counts of distribution of cocaine, conspiracy, and possession of marijuana. Kimberly Locklear is charged with conspiracy. Baum is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy. Bond hearings will be held Friday in Bennettsville.