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Press Release

Rock Hill Man Sentenced to More Than 2 Decades in Federal Prison for Illegal Drug Sales

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Archie Arsenio Caldwell, 33, of Rock Hill, was sentenced to 25 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Rock Hill Police Department 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 the 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, N.C. area. Specifically, 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 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, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. This group shipped more than 255 packages from California and distributed more than five kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, one kilogram or more of heroin, and more than a 1000 grams of marijuana.  Eighteen defendants were charged in this case.  Thirteen defendants have pled guilty, including Caldwell, to their involvement. Five defendants are awaiting trial.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Caldwell to 300 months imprisonment, to be followed by 10 years of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.   

This case 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, Rock Hill Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), York County Sheriff’s Office, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William K. Witherspoon, Elliott Daniels, Elle Klein, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lamar Fyall of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.



Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982

Updated July 22, 2022

Drug Trafficking