ABC 15 Investigates the criminal past of suspects in gang, drug operation
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
A major bust of a gang and drug operation in Horry County was announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney.
Twenty-seven people have been indicted after an investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement that dates back to 2017.
U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon says 22 of those suspects were arrested Wednesday in a take down that involved approximately 125 law enforcement agents.
In total, 24 people have been arrested, three people are still wanted. Eight people have been granted bond, and the remaining suspects are expected to be in court next week.
The suspects are believed to be part of the G-Shine gang.
ABC15 News received the SLED arrest records for 14 of the 27 suspects. The records are South Carolina specific. We are working to get the remaining records.
- Eddie Mario Jones-Jones has been arrested several times, but only convicted on possession of marijuana or hash.
- Rondric Tykeme Smith- In 2013, he was convicted of attempted armed robbery. Since then he has been charged with attempted murder and convicted on several charges including possession of drugs, unlawful carrying of a weapon and distributing drugs. He has served time behind bars.
- Richard Earl Hemingway- In 2007, he was arrested on multiple drug charges, but not convicted. In the years from 2010 to now he had other various charges and served some jail time.
- Rashea Omar Jenerette- He faced arrests starting in 2005 for things ranging from carrying a weapon on school property to possession of drugs. While there are cases pending—he has never been sentenced to jail time.
- Christopher Lamont Pino- Pino has an arrest record dating back to 2001. He faced charges ranging from burglary to possession of drugs. He has served time in jail.
- Christopher Kayvon Giddens- Giddens has been arrested multiple times dating back to 2013. He has been convicted of things like possession of drugs, attempted armed robbery and giving or offering bribes to officers.
- Trey Levert Cox- Cox is still facing several charges such as trafficking heroin and cocaine and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
- Kennis Lorenzo Willard- Willard's run into with South Carolina law enforcement dates back to 2014. He has several pending charges including attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He has been convicted of possession of a substance.
- Cory Antwan Pertell- Pertell has pending charges against him including unlawful exposure of a child to meth and trafficking crack cocaine.
- Wendy Elaine Blue- Blue has been convicted on forgery charges.
- Montea Daryel Myers- Myers has served jail time. He was convicted of manufacturing and distributing drugs such as crack cocaine.
- Glen Garrick Holley- Holley's arrests started in 1985. He's spent time in jail and has been convicted of things like possession of drugs, domestic violence and shoplifting.
- Michelle Lindsey Singleton- Her arrests began in 2005 with a kidnapping charge, but she was not convicted of that. She has been convicted of shoplifting several times.
- Katelyn Anne Stetler- Stetler has been convicted on assault and battery charges, prostitution and possession of drugs.
Each suspect had a lengthy arrest record, some longer than others. The suspects were not convicted of all of the crimes for which they were arrested. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
The suspects are now facing new charges involved with the recent indictments.
This case is being handled in federal court. ABC15 spoke with 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson about the magnitude of the case.
Richardson said it's actually easier to prosecute a case like this in the federal system.
“When you’re talking about multiple warrants like that it’s much easier in the federal system. It takes a little bit more police work up front but that’s been a real blessing for us being able to use that system," he said.
We also asked Richardson if he was surprised to see eight of the suspects given bond so quickly.
“Most of the time when you get involved in the federal system they stay in there without bond but what happens is anytime you bring in, you cast a wide net like that, and I would say 27 different defendants is a very wide net. There are some fish that are going to be bigger than others And they cant all be treated the same," he said.
The federal partnership is something many in the community, including Richardson, have been working towards for a long time.
“Especially when there are big cases, big conspiracy cases, that is always been better done in a federal system. Their laws are set up better for that. They’ve got RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] statutes and a lot of things the state doesn’t have," Richardson said.
Taking down 27 alleged gang members will be a major blow to the G-Shine Gang, he said. But the work isn't over yet. Now it's also about keeping other gangs from moving in.
“If there’s going to be drug buyers there’s going to have to be people who organize to sell drugs and that’s what we’ve got to be very aware of in the days and weeks to come," Richardson said.
ABC15 News will continue to follow this story and will be at the court hearings next week.