Third Strike for Armed Drug Trafficker Eutawville Man Convicted of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Joey Lamont Brunson, a/k/a “Solo Flex,” age 42 of Eutawville (Orangeburg County), South Carolina was convicted of all twelve of the charges in his federal indictment after a four day jury trial before Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. After four hours of deliberations, the jury returned verdicts convicting Brunson of being a member of a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, four counts of use of a cell phone to further drug trafficking, money laundering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and perjury. Judge Anderson will impose sentence after a presentence report is prepared by the United States Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the trial included numerous wiretap calls between Brunson and his main source of supply Lamario Vincent Wright from June through October of 2013. In the calls, Brunson brazenly discussed beating another conspirator in an effort to recover cocaine that the conspirator had stolen from Wright. Repeatedly in the intercepted calls and texts, Brunson ordered drugs using coded language from his suppliers.
After Brunson was indicted in 2015, agents testified he went on the run and eluded capture by the FBI for almost two years. After receiving a tip from the Navy Federal Credit Union in Summerville, agents learned that Brunson was depositing between $3000.00 and $9000.00 cash regularly at multiple locations in late 2016 and 2017. On March 3, 2017, Summerville Police Officers responded to a call for service from one of the credit unions and arrested Brunson after a brief struggle. Agents searched the silver Suzuki he was driving and located cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and two firearms. Bank records proved that Brunson deposited over $90,000.00 in cash in multiple accounts while on the run from the FBI.
Evidence at trial also included testimony and pictures of a $30,000 Escalade truck that Brunson bought at the request of his supplier Lamario Wright. Records showed that Brunson used over $20,000.00 in drug money to purchase the truck and that he placed it in his name to hide the fact that the truck actually belonged to his partner Wright.
Brunson has previously been convicted of federal drug violations in the late 1990s and in 2007, and has previously served two custodial sentences in the Bureau of Prisons. Based on his prior convictions and the fact that he was convicted of multiple felony drug convictions yesterday, Brunson faces a statutory mandatory minimum life sentence without the possibility of parole.
The case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Summerville Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Marshal’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Will Lewis and J.D. Rowell.