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Home  |  News  |  Undercover: Inside A Richland County Drug Bust

Undercover: Inside A Richland County Drug Bust
Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Elgin, SC (WLTX) - After numerous complaints about drug dealing in a Midlands neighborhood, Richland County's undercover narcotics team was called in to clean it up.

Undercover video, shot by a Richland County Sheriff's Deputy, shows deputies serving arrest warrants on who they say are known criminals.

"Get on the ground! Get on the ground!"

Sheriff Deputy's have monitored drug dealing and drug using at this location after many in the community complained.

"This area has been a problem area for years," said Amy, an undercover deputy who's been organizing the details of this specific bust for nearly two months.

"In every operation we de-brief, in which case everyone will get an idea of what's going to occur," said Amy.

At a meeting area before the raid, sheriff deputies get geared up, test equipment, and finalize last minute details to enter two mobile homes in Elgin off Gibbes Road.

"Once the code word is given, the agents will start to move. After that, we will have separate teams go into the location."

It's Amy role today to approach the home and attempt to purchase crack cocaine.

"Once the code word is given then the agents will start to move. Then we will have separate teams go into the location," said Amy.

The undercover team begins their approach towards the trailers for an operation dubbed "Pitstop." Entering the trailer, the deputy's target escapes.

Overheard on a police radio: "He's running through the woods! He's running through the woods!"

A Richland County helicopter is called to give deputies on the ground a better view. Just a short distance down the road, you can see kids playing at a school.

A deputy screams out, "He ran right towards you guys," over the radio.

Two mobile homes are hit simultaneously to maximize the number of arrests and minimize the chance of anyone trying to flee.

"Chaotic. Unpredictable. One minute you're preparing the next minute you're going a hundred miles an hour," said Amy.

As deputies seize cocaine and crack cocaine, they find their suspect hiding in the woods.

"There were several individuals inside the trailer as well as outside the trailer. This is what we have to do to ensure the community is safe," said Amy.

Sheriff deputies call the raid sucessful. They hope this raid will clean up this neighborhood, and prevent other crimes from occurring.

"You know it's going to be quiet. The people out there that are causing the disturbance and making things unsafe won't be around. They'll be in jail," said Amy.

A total of eight people were arrested in the bust. Four of those, Samuel Gregory, 37, James Green, 61, Ronnie Blanding, 49, and Africa Keys, 34, are charged with possession of cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and distribution of cocaine within a half mile of a school.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department said they serve warrants like these twenty to thirty times a month to help rid communities of drugs and the problems associated with it. The department plans on using the video to train future law enforcement deputies.

Source: http://www.wltx.com/news/article/172303/2/Undercover-Inside-A-Richland-County-Drug-Bust

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