13 Defendants Charged Federally in Beaufort Area Drug Conspiracy
Charleston, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that 13 individuals have been charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846. Those individuals are as follows:
Demetrius Dwayne Swinton, a/k/a “Million Dolla Meat”, age 30, of Pooler, Georgia
Liz Ashante Christopher, age 30, of Suwanee, Georgia
Christopher Johnson, a/k/a “Unc”, age 48, of Ridgeland, SC
Travis Wiggins, a/k/a “Trap”, age 26, of Ridgeland, SC
Derrick Edwards, a/k/a “Markie”, age 24 of Ridgeland, SC
Johnita Anderson, a/k/a “Goat”, age 35 of Hardeeville, SC
David Grober, a/k/a “JY”, age 35, of Beaufort, SC
Boston Brown, age 30, of Bluffton, SC
Samuel Jones, age 34, of Beaufort, SC
Ernest Tyrone Fields, a/k/a “Fly”, age 37, of Hilton Head, SC
Devin Swinton, age 27, of Ridgeland, SC
Ryan Walters, age 31, of Hilton Head, SC
Terrance Wallace, a/k/a “Bird”- age 31, of Hilton Head, SC
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Demetrius Swinton has been charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 848. Ryan Walters and Terrance Wallace also face additional drug charges, while Boston Brown faces additional firearms charges and Travis Wiggins and Derrick Edwards face additional drug and firearms charges.
As part of the investigation, on November 15, 2017, the DEA Charleston Resident Office, the Tampa District Office, Savannah Resident Office, Atlanta Field Division, ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, Hampton County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed eleven (11) simultaneous search warrants and arrested ten defendants located in Beaufort and Jasper, South Carolina; Suwanee, Pooler, and Savannah, Georgia; and Tampa, Florida.
During the course of the investigation into this drug trafficking organization, agents have seized over $45,000, 37 firearms, over 45 kilograms of cocaine, over 1 kilogram grams of crack cocaine, 100 grams of heroin, 129 grams of MDMA and 1 pound of marijuana, as well as 5 vehicles used by the drug trafficking organization. The maximum penalty each defendant could receive is life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000,000.
United States Attorney Drake stated, “The indictment and arrests of these defendants is the result of a lengthy investigation aimed at removing those responsible for pushing large quantities of drugs into our communities, often while armed with deadly weapons. We will continue to move forward with this investigation and prosecution and do all we can to give the people of South Carolina a safe place to live.”
Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “Today’s law enforcement operations are a credit to the multitude of law enforcement agencies who have been working to dismantle this drug trafficking organization. The actions taken thus far will hopefully bring stability and safety to the communities in which the organization has operated. This effort would not have been successful without the high-level of cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts.”
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office and the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office and Special Assistant United States Attorney Carra Henderson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for prosecution.
The United States Attorney stated that all charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.