Former Grand Strand-based highway patrol trooper on trial for fe - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Former Grand Strand-based highway patrol trooper on trial for federal drug charge

(Source: AP Graphics) (Source: AP Graphics)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A former South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, based in Horry and Georgetown Counties, is involved in a federal trial on drug charges.

A Department of Justice representative confirmed the trial for J.D. McGaha started this Thursday in California. 

McGaha is charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

Court documents alleged McGaha admitted to accepting $5,000 cash last March in exchange for being a lookout during a transaction he knew was illegal. 

Before the transaction occurred, FBI agents met with McGaha, who reportedly admitted to accepting the cash for acting as a lookout, the court documents stated.

“McGaha claimed not to have slept the night before out of guilt, and he stated, “The money is what always gets you, not the drugs,” according to information from the court documents.

At least four other local men, including former Grand Strand club owners Mike Rose and Vlad Handl, as well as former Myrle Beach police officer David Gaither, were charged with money laundering and other federal violations in the case. Some have pleaded guilty. 

Related stories:

Fired SCHP trooper charged in alleged criminal enterprise

Former owners of Gold Club, Heat Ultra Lounge convicted in federal drug, money laundering case

Attorney: Former Myrtle Beach police officer pleads not guilty on federal racketeering, money laundering conspiracy charges

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