OFFICERS SEIZE COCAINE WORTH $30,000, $25,000 IN CASH AND EIGHT FIREARMS
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) on Tuesday, January 14 seized about 300 grams of cocaine with a street value of about $30,000, $25,028 in cash, eight firearms and less than one gram of crack cocaine after the officers executed a search warrant at a home on Swansea Road near Swansea.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said NET officers arrested Rashawn Stafford Gatson, 34, and Tyvona Latrice Toland, 27, both of 505 Swansea Road, Swansea, on charges of trafficking in cocaine, possessing crack cocaine, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and possessing a firearm that had been reported stolen. Gatson and Toland each were being held on Wednesday, January 15 at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling $200,000.
NET officers went to Gatson’s home at 505 Swansea Road after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and executed a search warrant, Metts said. Toland lives with Gatson, who is Toland’s boyfriend.
After they executed the search warrant, officers seized cocaine, crack cocaine, firearms, ammunition, surveillance cameras for a security system, one computer that monitored surveillance cameras, digital scales, plastic bags that were used to package drugs for sale and one Rite Count money-counting machine, Metts said. The eight firearms that were seized included one Fire Storm 9-mm handgun, one 140 Pro Taurus .40-caliber handgun, one Ruger .38-caliber handgun, one Glock .357-caliber handgun, one New England 12-gauge shotgun, one Savage 30-06 bolt-action rifle, one Mossberg semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle and one Marlin 30-30 lever-action rifle.
Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies initially went to Gatson’s home on Tuesday afternoon in order to assist Lexington County Animal Services officers in executing a search warrant in connection with an investigation that Animal Services officers were conducting concerning the condition and treatment of dogs that Gatson owns, Metts said. After Animal Services officers executed their search warrant at Gatson’s home, the officers and deputies saw a small digital scale on a table that contained a white powder that appeared to be cocaine. Deputies then requested assistance from NET officers to investigate illegal drugs at the home.
NET officers obtained and executed a separate search warrant for Gatson’s home in order to investigate Gatson’s involvement in dealing illegal drugs, Metts said. NET officers seized cocaine and crack cocaine at Gatson’s home after they executed the search warrant.
Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).
NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.
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