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Press Release

Rock Hill Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Archie Arsenio Caldwell 35, of Rock Hill, was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and marijuana.  He also plead guilty to distributing crack cocaine and money laundering.

Evidence presented to the court showed that the FBI Columbia Field Office and the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit began to investigate a group of defendants who were obtaining large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana from a distributor in Southern California. Based upon their investigation, the police were able to determine that members of the group were flying to California and having the drugs shipped back to the Rock Hill and Charlotte area. Based upon surveillance and other law enforcement techniques, the police learned that Caldwell was a member of the group and helped other members obtain flights to California to purchase the illegal substances. Caldwell also flew to California to purchase the illegal substances for other members of the group and orchestrated shipping the packages back. After the drugs were shipped back to South Carolina, the group distributed the drugs to local dealers. 

Later, the group began ordering fentanyl from California which they used to make fentanyl laced pills which were sold to users in Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Based upon their investigation, law enforcement could show that this group shipped more than 255 packages from California. Caldwell was held responsible for 37 grams of crack cocaine, six kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of cocaine, seven kilograms of fentanyl and eight kilograms of marijuana. Nineteen defendants were charged in this case in South Carolina. Seventeen defendants pled guilty, including Caldwell, to their involvement and three were convicted at trial.  

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Caldwell to 200 months imprisonment, to be followed by a 10-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system. 

This law enforcement operation and prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

This case was investigated by the FBI Columbia Field Office, York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney William K. Witherspoon prosecuted the case.



Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist,, (803) 929-3000

Updated January 29, 2024

Drug Trafficking