News and Press Releases

Barnwell Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Dealing in Hundreds of Kilograms of Cocaine After Agents Seized Almost Three-Quarters of a Million Dollars in Cash

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2013

Contact Person: Jay N. Richardson (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced today Terrance Lamar Wiggins, a/k/a “T-Wig,” a/k/a “Barnwell” (32) was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Senior United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour imposed the life sentence after a jury had found Wiggins guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Before imposing the sentence, the found that the evidence established that Wiggins dealt in hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, acted as a leader in his drug distribution organization, and obstructed justice.

Evidence presented at trial and at sentencing showed that Wiggins distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine quantities of cocaine from 2005 until he was arrested in 2012. During that time, Wiggins regularly purchased as many as ten kilograms at a time and utilized others to distribute the cocaine in an around Barnwell. On March 28, 2012, local, state, and federal authorities executed a search warrant on Wiggins’ residence.  There, they found Wiggins and cocaine, along with scales, a bag-sealer, sealing bags, and five kilogram cocaine wrappings covered in cocaine residue.  Additionally, officers found a loaded Glock .45 caliber pistol sitting on the bed, a loaded SKS assault rifle under the bed, a loaded pistol-grip shotgun in the living room under the couch, and another rifle in an outbuilding.  Officers also found hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden throughout the house – in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator, in the laundry room, in a secret hiding place behind the fireplace, in a pillowcase, and under the tub in the bathroom. More cash was found that the defendant had stashed at his relatives’ houses.  All told, officers recovered nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in cash ($741,257).

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said, "As part of our cooperative efforts to bring federal law enforcement resources to bear in rural areas of South Carolina, the hard work of local, state and federal agents succeeded in removing another large-scale, armed drug trafficker from the community."

The case was investigated primarily by Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division, and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the inter-agency Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force’s continued efforts in and around Barnwell County.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey B. Wall.

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