Federal judge sentences leader of Marion County drug organization to life in prison

Federal judge sentences leader of Marion County drug organization to life in prison
Glenn Pernell (Source: South Carolina Dept. of Corrections)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – A Marion County man will spend the rest of his life in federal prison after authorities said he ran a drug organization from behind bars.

Glenn Pernell, 41, was already serving two 25-year sentences in a South Carolina prison for drug trafficking.

But investigators said that he was able to obtain a contraband cellphone and ran a drug operation from within prison walls at Lieber Correction Institution.

Pernell employed a network of people in Marion County, including his mother and sister, to purchase drugs from his Mexican drug suppliers, deliver drugs to his customers and collect and store drug money from the sales.

During an eight-day trial in August 2019, a jury heard hours of recorded conversations between Pernell and his co-conspirators.

He was found guilty on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, cocaine base and heroin, in addition to several other drug-related charges.

Pernell was sentenced to life in federal prison.

"Today’s sentencing is the culmination of a comprehensive and coordinated drug trafficking investigation by the FBI and our dedicated partners. These law enforcement professionals proved again drug trafficking enterprises operating anywhere in South Carolina will be met with a committed cadre of Agents, Officers and Deputies that will dismantle the trafficking network and bring those behind it to account,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jody Norris.

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