News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4 , 2010
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Hollywood Man Sentenced to 20 Years on Crack Cocaine Charges

AUG 4 -- (Columbia, SC)---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles and Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated that Cornelius Simmons, age 28, of Hollywood, South Carolina, was sentenced today in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A).  Senior United States District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy of Charleston sentenced Simmons to 20 years.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Simmons was stopped in his motor vehicle for driving erratically by Sgt. Ransom Williams of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. After the vehicle stopped, the defendant got out of the vehicle and refused to get back in the vehicle. The defendant began to go in his pockets and took up an aggressive stance. Sgt. Williams tried to place his hand on Simmons to prevent him from fleeing. The defendant struck the officer in the head and began to flee. Sgt. Williams deployed his taser and Simmons went to the ground. While the defendant was on the ground, a large amount of crack cocaine (63.79 grams) came out of his pockets. The defendant fled the area with the officer in pursuit. The officer caught up with the defendant and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the defendant kicked or grabbed the officers groin three times, changed the channel on the officer’s radio when he attempted to call for assistance, and attempted to grab the officer’s weapon. The defendant repeatedly stated he was not going back to jail. The officer was only able to arrest the defendant after he struck Simmons in the head with a rock. After the incident, the officer and the defendant were taken to the hospital for treatment. Simmons was also sentenced to a consecutive 37 months for violating his supervised release on a previous federal gun charge.

The case was investigated by agents of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA.  Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Modica of the Charleston office handled the case.

DEA Atlanta’s SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.