‘It’s a plague’: Nearly 100 arrests made during ‘Operation Extended Stay’ in Florence County

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 12:34 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:18 PM EST
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An operation in Florence County led to nearly 100 arrests and got a number of guns and drugs off the streets, according to the sheriff’s office.

From Tuesday, Jan. 17 to Friday, Jan. 20, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office conducted “Operation Extended Stay” where they focused on West Lucas Street and other nearby locations.

Sheriff T.J. Joye said his team zeroed in West Lucas Street after getting safety complaints from people in the area, along with an uptick in fentanyl overdoses at motels.

“People are scared. You’re in your own home and you can’t feel safe due to shootings... it’s ridiculous,” said Joye. “It’s a plague. These people are tired of it and I’m tired of it.”

The operation also included multiple search and arrest warrant executions for narcotics violations in the area.

“We are doing our best to remove the criminal element from these areas to make our county safe for our citizens and those who travel here,” Joye stated. “There is much more to be done, but Operation Extended Stay is just the beginning.”

During the operation, authorities arrested 99 people.

The following charges were made:

  • Possession of Marijuana - 36
  • Providing False Information - 2
  • Driving Under Influence - 2
  • No Drivers’ License - 2
  • Driving Under Suspension - 21
  • Loud Exhaust - 1
  • Controlled Substance Violation - 5
  • Heroin - 3
  • Cocaine - 4
  • Crack Cocaine - 4
  • Methamphetamine - 6
  • Mushrooms - 1
  • Failure to Stop for Blue Light - 2
  • Alcohol Violations - 7
  • Wanted Persons - 11

The sheriff’s office added that eight arrests were made on charges of trafficking crack cocaine, trafficking heroin, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, meth and possession of a stolen firearm.

Deputies also seized 26 firearms along with nearly $17,000 in cash.

“The narcotics bureau says this was an effort to show that we are done dealing with this, so to show full force, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Joye said.

Joye said his team is also working with the Florence Police Department to pinpoint other hot spots for crime.