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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives on Tuesday, January 8 arrested a 21-year-old Gaston woman on charges that she left a 2-year-old boy alone at a home near Gaston for about two hours on Tuesday afternoon. Deputies found the boy in a bedroom that was locked. The boy was wearing only a diaper, which required changing. A bowl of cereal had been left on the floor in the bedroom where the boy had been left locked in the room.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said deputies also charged the 21-year-old woman and two men who live with her at the Gaston home with possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. After detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at the home, officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) found about 128 grams of marijuana at the home, water pipes that are used to smoke marijuana, scales and plastic bags that are used to store marijuana that is offered for sale.

Detectives obtained arrest warrants for Tabitha Shea Jones, 21, on charges of unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it, Metts said. Jones was being held on Wednesday, January 9 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

Jones is scheduled to appear in court for a bond hearing at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Metts said. The bond hearing will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the county Detention Center at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

Detectives obtained arrest warrants for Brandon Lee Perryman, 22, and John David Swygert, 23, on one count each of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it, Metts said. Perryman was being held on Wednesday at the county Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. Swygert was released from the county Detention Center on Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond.

Arrest warrants allege that at about 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday Jones left the 2-year-old boy alone at the Gaston home, without any adult supervision at the residence or in the vicinity of the residence, Metts said. The boy was left alone in the home for about two hours.

Arrest warrants further allege that after deputies executed a search warrant at the Gaston home NET officers found that Jones, Perryman and Swygert possessed about 128 grams of marijuana, which officers found in the home’s kitchen, Metts said. Officers also found three plastic bags that contained about one-half ounce of marijuana in Swygert’s bedroom at the home.

Detectives took the 2-year-old boy into emergency protective custody on Tuesday, Metts said. Deputies placed the boy in a clean diaper and placed clothes on the boy.

The 2-year-old boy was placed in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services after Lexington County Emergency Medical Services personnel examined the boy and found that the boy was in ok condition, Metts said.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Department Warrant Division went to the Gaston home at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in order to try to serve an arrest warrant on a woman who is wanted on a charge of driving a motor vehicle with a driver’s license that had been suspended, Metts said.

Deputies found the front door at the Gaston home had been forced open and could not be secured, Metts said. Officers detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the residence.

Due to the exigent circumstances, deputies entered the home and began searching rooms in order to determine whether the woman who was wanted was at the residence, Metts said. Deputies did not locate the woman.

Deputies found that a bedroom door was locked from the outside and unlocked the door, Metts said. After the deputies unlocked the bedroom door, a 2-year-old boy exited the bedroom. The boy was wearing only a diaper, which needed to be changed. Deputies found a bowl of cereal on the floor of the bedroom, where the 2-year-old boy had been left locked in the room. No one else was in the home with the 2-year-old boy.

Deputies found a two-foot water pipe that is used to smoke marijuana on a couch in the home’s living room, Metts said.

Deputies also found one beer can and knives scattered around the home, which was in a state of disarray, Metts said. Deputies found trash in the living room and pots containing food that had been left on the stove for at least one day in the kitchen.

Deputies found that the refrigerator in the home’s kitchen contained eggs, one container of chocolate syrup, one can of beer, one container of chocolate ice cream and one can of coffee, Metts said.

Jones, Perryman and Swygert later arrived at the Gaston home, where detectives arrested Jones, Perryman and Swygert, Metts said.

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