15 suspected heroin dealers arrested after undercover operation - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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15 suspected heroin dealers arrested after undercover operation in Johnsonville

One suspected dealer in handcuffs. (Source: FCSO) One suspected dealer in handcuffs. (Source: FCSO)

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A total of 15 suspected heroin traffickers are behind bars after an undercover drug bust operation put these people in custody.

WMBF News rode along with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office to see it all. Tune in to WMBF News today beginning at 4 p.m. to see more.

SLED, the Florence County SWAT team, narcotic investigators, special operations, the tracking team, and aviation units, along with assistance from Johnsonville Police and the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office were all part of rounding up the suspects, who are all charged with distribution of heroin.

It was the largest undercover operation the sheriff’s office has done in the past year. The drug busts happen on a need-to-need basis, and Sheriff Kenney Boone said this is to helping bring an end to the heroin trafficking in lower Florence County.

“This is not the end, we will continue these undercover operations wherever they are in our county,” Boone said. “We rely on the public, the public is the eyes and ears for us. We understand there’s problems in particular areas and we will address those issues, and start these undercover operations and take care of those.”

It takes months of preparing, and the investigation of these cases started last summer, Boone said.

“We respond with overwhelming force to eliminate any notion they may have about resistance, that’s for their safety, the officers’ safety and safety of bystanders,” said Major Mike Nunn, with FCSO.

The goal is to strike when people least expect it.

“That’s the idea, when it works well it works well,”. “These operations don’t just happen by themselves, they are the result of ongoing training, in depth briefing, practice.”

Nunn said in all of Florence County, since 2013 heroin seizures have increases immensely, “and so has the incidents of overdose and death as well. This is not just a Florence problem, not a Johnsonville problem, this is a national problem.”

“A lot of it stems from opioid dependency medication, others from other causes, but the problem is huge,” Nunn added.

Sheriff Boone agreed. “You know these dealers are responsible for overdoses and deaths and when we can go after those people and remove some of the heroin off our streets, you know this operation has obviously been successful,” he said.

According to an FCSO press release, 15 individuals suspected of distributing heroin in the Johnsonville/Hemingway area of Florence and Williamsburg counties were arrested in Operation Clean Sweep.

The following suspects were arrested on warrants issued out Florence County:

  • Erion Dephuon Black, 23, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin
  • Robert Bryant Burgess, 43, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin
  • Adonis Labradford Doctor, 22, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin
  • Tushai Shakur Edwards, 22, of Johnsonville, was charged with two counts of distribution of heroin
  • Rico Antony Linen, 41, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin and distribution of crack cocaine
  • Christopher Melvin, 27, of Lake City, was charged with four counts of distribution of heroin
  • Justin Jamal Lewis, 26, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin
  • Kayshawn Daron Linen, 25, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin
  • Dwayne Edwado Marquis Wilson, 36, of Johnsonville, was charged with two counts of distribution of heroin
  • Victor Antoine Grant, 29, of Johnsonville, was charged with two counts of distribution of heroin and possession of controlled substances
  • Eric Joseph Miles, 27, of Johnsonville, was charged with distribution of heroin

Four other suspects were arrested on Williamsburg County warrants and taken to the Williamsburg County Detention Center, the release stated. Their names were not immediately available. 

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