HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — The U.S. Attorney announced Thursday the unsealing of an indictment targeting a gang in our community.
U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon says a nine-month investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement netted indictments on 27 suspects on a total of 46 counts. Lydon says 22 of those suspects were arrested Wednesday in a takedown that involved approximately 125 law enforcement agents.
Two of the suspects were already in state custody and will make their first court appearance on Friday.
That leaves three suspects on the lam, and the FBI is seeking information leading to their capture. They are Christopher Kayvon Giddens, Rondric Tykeme Smith and Katelyn Anne Stetler.
“We want you to know we targeted a gang right here in this community,” Lydon said.
Those indicted are accused of a having a significant role in a large drug-trafficking operation.
They're part of G-Shine, a gang that originated in New Jersey, Lydon said; G-Shine is part of the Bloods gang.
The gang was selling heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine and other drugs-- and Lydon said they used guns in furtherance of their criminal enterprise.
“I’ve asked for help. I’m not ashamed to say, ‘Hey, we don’t have the staffing for this” And our federal partners have come out in full force," Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill said.
The Shine Money Gang is a subset of the G-Shine gang, Lydon says, that's based in Longs, South Carolina.
"Drugs and guns are what we are talking about here today," Lydon said.
The joint investigation began in 2017 and involved the Horry County Police Department, Horry County Sheriff’s Office, 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Myrtle Beach Police Department, Conway Police Department, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
"It’s come to fruition to where we understand that there is [a gang problem]. The key to doing what we accomplished yesterday and our last operation went down is working together," said Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson.
“We are here with a passion for making Myrtle Beach safe," Lydon said.
"Our efforts won't stop because of what happened yesterday," said Sheriff Thompson. "We are just getting ready to go to work. We want to send a message to those folks who are doing this."
Chief Hill's message to criminals in Horry County: “Stop doing what you’re doing or leave Horry County, because if not we’re going to find a place for you to stay. And that’s going to be J. Rueben Long for a short period of time and then you’re going to enter the federal system. And when you enter the federal system you’re looking at a lot of time behind bars.”
The following people are named in the indictment (Click on highlighted names for related stories):
Editor's Note: ABC 15 News is actively working to obtain mugshots and learn about bond information on each of the suspects. What has been made available to us thus far is added here. Further information and mugshots will be added as they become available.