Georgetown County undercover sting leads to cocaine arrests

In the Pleasant Hill community of Georgetown County, more than 20 police officers raided two neighboring homes Monday afternoon.

In a joint operation between the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office and the State Law Enforcement Division, an undercover police investigation ended in police arresting Tyrone Williams and Jimmy Grate on charges that include trafficking cocaine and prescription drugs.

DEU Deputy Commander Matt Hooper said the investigation took a month.

"It's anonymous complaints that come in to the sheriff's office or any drug line," said Hooper. "With just tips that come in from drug complaints, we take that and run from there."

Police broke down the front door of one of the homes during the drug raid.

Hooper said a Georgetown Magistrate issued a search warrant for the homes after undercover agents bought drugs from both homes.

"Everything went real well today," said Hooper. "We got who we were looking for. We cleared the houses. We alerted residents of the problems that the neighbors have been having in the neighborhood."

Cocaine is the most prominent drug DEU agents deal with, and these arrests will likely lead to additional ones, said Hooper.

"With the drug enforcement unit, we're always chasing the top guys and you have to work your way from the bottom up to get to them. It's a lengthy process."

Police found no drugs in the homes, but Hooper said because of the undercover drug buy last month the men were charged.

Anything extra would have led to additional charges, he said.

Two children were at the home during the raid. Police released the children into the custody of relatives.

"There were several young kids and we encounter that a good bit," said Hooper. "We took care of it. The mother was there, and with the other one, we had somebody close by that could come and take care of the kids. So everything went fine."

Animal control was also sent to the home after the raid. At least one dog will be taken into custody after police found the dog's collar was digging into its skin.