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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2004

Federal Drug Indictments Deliver Results

photo - seized material
Pictured here is partial evidence as part of a joint effort which yielded the seizures of approximately three and one half kilograms of cocaine, 18 guns, properties worth over $1.6 million, $100,000 in U.S. Currency, several bank accounts, 25 vehicles, and the inventories of two retail liquor stores.

MAR 16 – Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Sherri F. Strange of the Atlanta Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and United States Attorney J. Strom Thurmond Jr. of the District of South Carolina announced the arrests of 16 defendants following the return of two sealed indictments by a federal grand jury sitting in Columbia, SC. The indictments were returned February 18, 2004 and name 19 individuals accused of federal conspiracy charges. These charges were the result of a two-year investigation conducted by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF unit is comprised of agents from the DEA, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division (IRS-CID), Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

On March 3, 2004, over 100 law enforcement officers from various federal, state and local agencies were tasked with executing 19 arrest warrants and 11 search warrants at locations throughout the Midlands area of South Carolina. Thus far, the case has yielded the seizures of approximately three and one half kilograms of cocaine, 18 guns, properties worth over $1.6 million, $100,000 in U.S. Currency, several bank accounts, 25 vehicles, and the inventories of two retail liquor stores.

“The success of this investigation is due to the joint efforts put forth by OCDETF. Through the sharing of intelligence and resources, the law enforcement community has been able to shut down the operations of this organization, making a positive impact on the Midlands area of South Carolina,” said SAC Strange.

The investigation focused on the multi-kilogram cocaine trafficking and money laundering activities of more than one group. As a result, several sources of supply were identified, including a Jamaican cocaine group that smuggled their contraband from Jamaica to Columbia, SC, via FedEx deliveries of Compact Discs (CDs). During the course of the investigation, agents seized cocaine that was compressed and placed in heat sealed bags within CD cases. The government also seized a vehicle equipped with an electronic hidden compartment. The compartment was designed within the vehicle’s door panel and utilized by the Jamaican organization to transport their drugs domestically. Investigators determined that the traffickers were moving significant quantities of money and used Western Union to wire transfer approximately $600,000 for purchases of cocaine and marijuana.

The defendants listed below have been indicted and arrested:

Randall Lee Edwards, age 40, of Swansea, SC
Alvin Quinton Poyner, III, age 38, of Columbia, SC
Danielle W. Gardner Hill, age 27, of Swansea, SC
Jody Beckley Stivers, age 32, of Columbia, SC
Skeet K. Granger, age 42, of Swansea, SC
Myron Wesley Hall, age 45, of Irmo, SC
Linda C. Jolly, age 60, of Swansea, SC
Edward Hurlburt, age 37, of Lexington, SC
Kristin Shawn Lown, age 32, of West Columbia, SC
Woodrow Anthony Ransey, age 43, of Columbia, SC
Shiver Hutchinson, age 60, of Elloree, SC
Nigel Holland, age 34, of Columbia, SC
Odell Quattlebaum, age 29, of Columbia, SC
Timmoy Ellis, age 27, of Columbia, SC, Jamaican national
Rhonda Hagler, age 27, of Columbia, SC
Mark Clayton Burton, age 24, of Columbia, SC

The following defendants have been indicted and are currently federal fugitives:

ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, aka “Big Al”, age 29 YOA, of Columbia, SC
MARK THOMAS, age 26, of Myrtle Beach, SC, believed to be a Jamaican national
ALLEN JAMISON, aka “AJ”, age 25, of Columbia, SC

The public is reminded that an indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law. Assistant United States Attorneys Jane Taylor, Leesa Washington, Mark Moore, and Robert C. Jendron will prosecute all charges stemming from this ongoing investigation in Columbia, SC.

 

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