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Press Release

2017 Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Announced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Awards ceremony held today at Fort Jackson

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA –The United States Attorney’s Office’s Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, along with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association (SCLEOA) and the Strom Thurmond Foundation, hosted the annual Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement Luncheon today at the Fort Jackson Officers' Club, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Approximately 150 state, local and federal law enforcement officials from across the state attended the awards luncheon.
The following South Carolina law enforcement officers received the 2017 awards:
City – Chief George D. Brothers, Edisto Beach Police Department
County – Sheriff Phillip E. Thompson, Horry County Sheriff’s Office
Federal – Special Agent Barry A. Wilson, U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration
State – Major C. Todd Hughey, SLED

The Strom Thurmond Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement were established by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers whose performances demonstrate the highest ideals of excellence in professional law enforcement.  An annual award is given in each of four categories: (1) City Officer; (2) County Officer; (3) State Officer; and (4) Federal Officer.  An awards committee composed of representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Strom Thurmond Foundation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, along with a police chief and sheriff who have received the award selected the recipients from nominations received from across the state.
United States Attorney Beth Drake stated, "It is indeed an honor to recognize these four outstanding officers.  They each exemplify the best in law enforcement, serving their agencies, this state, and our nation with distinction, integrity, and character--making tremendous personal sacrifices to ensure just enforcement.”
City Recipient
George D. Brothers

Edisto Beach Police Department
Chief George Brothers graduated from T. L. Hanna High School in Anderson, SC. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Central Wesleyan College in Human Resource Management. Chief Brothers received his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of
South Carolina.
Chief Brothers began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a Reserve Officer for the City of Anderson, SC. When he relocated to Charleston County, he began their Reserve Officer Program in 1983. He served in this capacity for approximately three years. Chief Brothers then volunteered as a Reserve Officer for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in 1987. It was there he decided to commit to law enforcement in a full-time capacity and was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in 1990. Chief Brothers graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy as the winner of the J.P Strom Award in 1991. He advanced through the ranks at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department from a deputy to a DARE Officer and then as a Juvenile Investigator. He was promoted to Deputy Regional Commander at the rank of Lieutenant. He served as Captain of Headquarters Region and eventually was promoted to Major of the Department.
Chief Brothers retired from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in 2011 and moved to the private sector. Chief Brothers returned to law enforcement in 2013 as an officer with the Edisto Beach Police Department and was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2014. He was selected as Chief of Police in 2015.
Chief Brothers has been married for 39 years to his wife, Jackie, who also retired from law enforcement. He enjoys spending time with his family enjoying the beach and traveling.
County Recipient
Phillip E. Thompson

Horry County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Phillip E. Thompson is a 39-year veteran of law enforcement. He gained his law enforcement experience with both the Myrtle Beach and Horry County Police Departments before being elected Sheriff of Horry County in January 2001. He is currently serving his fifth term as Sheriff.
Sheriff Thompson has served as the Chairman of the 15th Judicial Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit since its conception in 2006. Sheriff Thompson’s commitment to assisting others lead to the creation of the only incarcerated drug treatment program for inmates in South Carolina, which is a model for incarceration treatment programs in the Southeast. The success of the program resulted in a three-year partnership with the South Carolina Department of Corrections in providing a reentry treatment program for inmates reentering in to society. As a result, Sheriff Thompson was awarded the Young Offender Parole and Reentry Services Judge Bill Byars Community Partner Award in Law Enforcement by Governor Nikki Haley in May of 2016. In July of 2017, Sheriff Thompson was awarded Sheriff of the Year by the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association.
Sheriff Thompson has been married to his wife, Cherry, over 48-years and they have three sons, three daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. Sheriff Thompson is a member of First United Methodist Church of Conway.
Federal Recipient
Barry A. Wilson

Special Agent
U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Special Agent Barry Wilson has worked in law enforcement for more than 24 years. He worked with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville City Police Department before joining the DEA in 1997. He was initially assigned to the DEA Miami Field Division where he worked in a HIDTA Task Force for four years. In 2001, he was transferred to the Florence, SC DEA Office and subsequently transferred to the Columbia, SC District Office in 2005.
Special Agent Wilson has been a valuable contributor to the SC OCDETF Program and has worked on several high level Title III wiretap/drug trafficking investigations. He has been the Case Agent for numerous OCDETF Investigations including the 2010 OCDETF Case of the Year for the District of SC–Operation Bitter Orange. This investigation, and the follow-up  OCDETF Investigation, Orange Collision, resulted in the arrest of more than 130 defendants, the seizure of 60 kilograms of cocaine and nearly two million dollars in assets. Special Agent Wilson has built strong relationships with other law enforcement agencies and has assisted on several FBI led OCDETF investigations as well. In 2016, he initiated OCDETF Operation Diga No Mas targeting a large-scale heroin group in Orangeburg, SC. In 2017, he began an assignment with the DEA Tactical Diversion Group (TDS) and initiated an investigation of a Beaufort, SC, based pill press group that was responsible for the nationwide distribution of clandestinely manufactured Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances and laundered in excess of eight million dollars using virtual currency. The TDS recently dismantled this operation and thus far, over 50,000 pills and over a million dollars in assets have been seized.
Special Agent Wilson is a graduate of the University of SC, is married and has two daughters. He is a DEA Firearms Instructor and has instructed other law enforcement officers on Title III investigations and critical incident response. Special Agent Wilson serves as DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication Coordinator for SC and works with SLED and other law enforcement agencies implementing this program. He is a DEA Purple Heart recipient resulting from a gunshot wound he received during the execution of a search warrant in Orangeburg in 2014.
State Recipient
C. Todd Hughey

SC Law Enforcement Division
Major Todd Hughey currently serves as the Laboratory Director in the Forensic Services Division of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).  Major Hughey received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1986 from Wofford College and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of South Carolina in 1992.  He performed post-doctoral work at Duke University Medical Center from 1992-1995. 
Major Hughey began his career at SLED in 1996 in the Toxicology Department and has served in various departments throughout his 21 years, ultimately rising to the rank of Major. Major Hughey has demonstrated a passion for forensic science throughout his career.  He has held himself and his staff to the highest ethical standards, which has resulted in the advancement of Forensic Services provided to the criminal justice system and citizens of South Carolina.  Under the guidance of Major Hughey, the state forensic laboratory has advanced its capabilities through the use of advanced technology and innovative techniques.  Some of these include:  new technology in Toxicology to assist with detection of novel designer drugs; new technology in Drug Analysis to allow for quantitation of THC in hemp, food and oil products; new technology in crime scene for 3D imaging of scenes; new sampling and analysis techniques of DNA evidence for improved sensitivity and discrimination.  The SLED Forensic Services Laboratory achieved International Accreditation through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB-International) in 2014 under Major Hughey’s guidance.  Major Hughey is recognized nationally as a leader in the field of forensic science.  He serves on numerous national boards and champions ethical, transparent, and unbiased work. 
Major Todd Hughey is the unique combination of scientist and law enforcement officer and blends these two fields in a unique way to best serve the citizens of South Carolina.  He has provided excellent  leadership for the SLED Forensic Services Laboratory through his example of integrity, ethics and pursuit of truth through science.   Major Hughey and his wife April have two children. He is an active member and Deacon of Fellowship Baptist Church in Lexington. He is an avid hiker and nature photographer and also enjoys mountain biking and being outdoors



Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated November 3, 2017