Federal Indictments Unsealed: 13 Defendants Arrested on Gun and Drug Charges After Two-Year Undercover Collaborative Law Enforcement Effort
Contact Person: Andy Moorman (864) 282-2140
Columbia, South Carolina-------United States Attorney Beth Drake, announced today that thirteen individuals have been arrested on federal charges for drug and firearms violations. A 35-count federal indictment was unsealed yesterday charging multiple defendants with federal violations. Thirteen defendants were arraigned on the indictment yesterday.
Beginning in 2014, the FBI Myrtle Beach Resident Agency and the DEA Florence Resident Office, working with several law enforcement partners, began an investigation of a large drug trafficking organization operating in the Myrtle Beach, Florence, and Charleston areas of South Carolina. The investigation targeted members of the Billie East Side Bloods, a set of the United Blood Nation, and others who formed an agreement to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in South Carolina, and to traffic in and possess firearms for the purpose of advancing the drug conspiracy. During the course of the investigation, agents used surveillance, source information, and other techniques to establish the agreement between coconspirators to sell drugs and to possess and sell firearms.
This operation was a combined law enforcement effort between the FBI, the DEA, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, the Horry County Police Department, the Myrtle Beach Police Department, the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, the 15th Circuit’s Drug Enforcement Unit, the Coastal Carolina University Police Department, and the Georgetown Police Department. The charges filed against the defendants in this operation are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Florence.
U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the local, state, and federal agencies and credited law enforcement. “This joint operation involving our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners signals our commitment to and emphasis on targeting significant criminal organizations operating in the Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Florence areas of South Carolina.”
The United States Attorney stated that all charges in this indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.