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20 people arrested in connection to drone attacks at Midlands prison

Generic file photo of a drone. (Source: Pixabay/stock image)
Generic file photo of a drone. (Source: Pixabay/stock image)(Source: Pixabay/stock image)
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 3:04 PM EST
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BISHOPVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - A months-long investigation into drone attacks at a local prison has led to more than 20 arrests and more than 100 pounds of contraband being seized.

The latest arrests happened last weekend when the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested five people in two separate, unrelated groups attempting to fly contraband into the prison.

The investigation started in May of 2021. Eight arrests were made through August.

“Our main focus is to stop contraband from entering the institution, and especially prevent someone from getting injured in the process,” Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon said. “We formed this partnership years ago, working hand in hand with each other to keep the inmates and the public safe.”

The recent seizures at Lee include:

  • About 100 pounds of tobacco
  • About 13 pounds of marijuana
  • About 843 grams of methamphetamines
  • About 114 grams of crack cocaine
  • About 49 grams of cocaine
  • 25 cellphones
  • Two knives
  • Three guns
  • 12 drones
  • $6,393 in cash
  • Packages also included numerous charging cords, lighters, bottles of liquor, cand and clothing items.

Officers also found three abandoned drones containing five pounds of tobacco and 100 grams of meth in the woods near the prison.

“These large drones can carry heavier and heavier packages,” Simon said. “We are working hard to stop them from getting in the wrong hands.”

Charges from Sunday include:

  • Morrell Godbolt of Marion: Contraband and criminal conspiracy
  • Anthony Bullard of Sumter: Contraband and criminal conspiracy
  • Buddy Berry Jr. of Greenville: Contraband and criminal conspiracy
  • Hezekiah Brown of Marion: Contraband and criminal conspiracy
  • Divine Scott of Sumter: Contraband, criminal conspiracy and failure to stop for a blue light

Charges from 2022 include:

  • Cherish Lightner of Columbia: Trafficking in methamphetamines, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, trafficking in cocaine, trafficking cocaine base, contraband and failure to stop for a blue light.
  • Christopher Lovely of Sumter: Contraband, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking in methamphetamines and criminal conspiracy.
  • Ashanta Bradley of Rembert: Contraband, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking in methamphetamines and criminal conspiracy.
  • Tywuan Ford of Round O: Contraband, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking in methamphetamines, criminal conspiracy and failure to stop for a blue light.
  • Thomas Holbrooks of Gaston: Contraband and trespassing.
  • Shia Young of Yemassee: Possession of a sawed-off rifle.
  • Cody Pearson of Rock Hill: Contraband, criminal conspiracy, trafficking in methamphetamines, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and trafficking cocaine.

Charges from 2021 include:

  • Devin Barksdale of Easley: Barksdale was arrested in two different raids. Charges include Trafficking methamphetamines, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, contraband and criminal conspiracy.
  • Rashell Tracy of Spartanburg: Contraband and criminal conspiracy. • David Herrington of Easley: Contraband and criminal conspiracy.
  • Michael Mijares of Pelion: Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamines and criminal conspiracy.
  • Marcille Glover of Columbia: Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamines, criminal conspiracy and unlawful conduct towards a child.
  • Richard Marushia of West Columbia: Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamines and criminal conspiracy.
  • Yah’Quann Gantt of Columbia: trafficking methamphetamines and unlawfully carrying a pistol.
  • Kolin Frazier of Easley: Trafficking methamphetamines and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

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