Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Two Outstanding Warrants

Andrew Casere Fant

Andrew Casere Fant

Fant Case - Picture One

Fant Case - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday on two outstanding warrants, one of which was for a drug charge.

44 year old Andrew Casere Fant of 557 Deborah’s Way, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:38am.

Back on August 12th, a deputy responded to the Deborah’s Way address in regards to a witness who noticed several marijuana plants in a pot at the residence and then later observed Fant dispose of the plants in an area off the property. The pot the plants were growing in and the plants themselves were later discovered by the deputy.

As the investigation continued, warrants charging Fant with manufacturing a quantity of marijuana were obtained by the Sheriff’s Office.

Yesterday morning, a deputy with the warrants division went to the Deborah’s Way address, where Fant was placed into custody on the drug warrant as well as on a magistrate’s bench warrant from November 12th, 2013 charging him with driving under suspension.

Fant is still being held this morning at the Oconee County Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns of New Scam

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a scam that involves someone calling on behalf of court trying to bilk residents out of money.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by a senior citizen from the Westminster area who said that an individual called claiming to be from court. The caller stated that the gentlemen was being levied a fine for not appearing for jury duty. The gentlemen told the caller that he had not received anything in the mail that he was to appear for jury duty.

The caller then told this gentleman that if he purchased a green dot card and put money on the card and send it in, that the fines would be forgiven. The caller said he would be back in touch to make arrangements to receive the money. After being questioned by the gentlemen and saying he was going to visit the judge, the gentlemen hung up on the caller. According to the deputy, the caller appeared to be local.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking individuals to be aware of such scams and not to send any money or provide any personal information. Residents who are asked to be on jury duty will be sent a letter in the mail or in some cases; a law enforcement officer will bring the letter to the individual’s home.

Anyone who is a target of this scam is asked to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office if they live in the unincorporated areas of Oconee County or their local law enforcement agency if they live in a municipality.

Support Group for Families Dealing with Drug Addiction Available in Oconee County

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to make residents aware of a local support group in the county for families and parents dealing with a child or loved one who is struggling with drug addiction.

Ashley Williams, who is director of Ash Tree Recovery Center, tells the Sheriff’s Office that on the 1st Monday Night of each month that such a support meets in Walhalla at the administration offices of Christ Central Ministries at 205 South John Street.

According to Williams, after a time of fellowship and prayer, an overview and information about a particular drug or substance is discussed, with information on the effects of that substance and the issues that an addicted person may be facing. Testimonies are provided by those who were addicted and by families members who have dealt with addictions of loved ones. As Williams puts it, everyone can learn from another’s process of dealing with addiction.

Williams also points out that counseling is not provided at the meetings but those who organize and lead the meetings can help those addicted and their families to find professional counseling.

Right now, the support groups meets only one time a month but if there is an increase in attendance, Williams said that more meetings may be organized each month to meet the need.

For more information or to find out how to join this support group, you can contact Ashley Williams at 864-873-7134 or Susan Williams at 864-557-0319. You can also obtain information by e-mailing familiesfightingaddiction@yahoo.com. You can also visit the Families Fighting Addiction website at www.familiesfightingaddiction.com.

Williams also points out that an addiction support groups also meet in Pickens County every 4th Thursday night at His Pavilion of Grace, which is right across from the city hall in the city of Pickens.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on a Fugitive from Justice Warrant

Walter Bud Shook, Jr.

Walter Bud Shook, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man late yesterday evening on a Fugitive from Justice Warrant from the state of Georgia.

36 year old Walter Bud Shook, Jr. was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:50pm last night.

Deputies were dispatched to the Shook Road address last night in regards to a disturbance among family members. After deputies separated the parties and calmed the situation, warrant checks were conducted through dispatch.

Dispatchers told deputies that Shook had charges from Clark County, GA and that authorities there wanted to extradite Shook back there.

According to the warrant, Shook committed the offense of violation of his probation. As of late this morning, Shook was being held at the Oconee County Detention Center and a hold has been placed on him by Clark County, GA.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Files Official Charges against a Salem Man in Tuesday Chase

Ricky Lee Rogers

Ricky Lee Rogers

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has filed official charges today against a Salem man who led deputies and troopers on a chase yesterday in a stolen vehicle.

37 year old Ricky Lee Rogers of 425 Ploma Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:50pm Tuesday.

Rogers has been officially charged with Grand Larceny in regards to taking a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, valued at around $5,000, from the Dollar General on North Highway 11 on Sunday. Rogers was also charged with Failure to Stop for a Blue Light due to the 21 minute chase that involved deputies as well as the Highway Patrol. Rogers was also issued a ticket for Driving under Suspension.

The investigator assigned to the stolen vehicle case spotted the vehicle yesterday on Burnt Tanyard Road near Old Station Road.

The investigator caught up with the vehicle at a 4-way stop on Country Junction Store and initiated his blue lights. The vehicle did not stop and led officers on the chase through the Tamassee, Picket Post and Salem areas of the county.

Stop sticks were deployed and the vehicle finally came to a stop near the intersection of North Highway 11 at Cheohee Valley Road. The driver was placed under arrest and the vehicle was recovered. No injuries were reported.

The driver was then taken to the Oconee County Detention Center and placed on a Temporary Custody Order as the investigator sought and obtained the warrants this morning.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Involved in Chase Today

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the South Carolina Highway Patrol was involved in a chase earlier today involving a vehicle reported stolen on Sunday.

The vehicle was reported stolen from the Dollar General location on North Highway 11. The investigator assigned to the case spotted the vehicle today, a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, on Burnt Tanyard Road near Old Station Road.

The investigator caught up with the vehicle at a 4-way stop on Country Junction Store and initiated his blue lights. The vehicle did not stop and led law enforcement on a 21 minute chase in the Tamassee, Picket Post and Salem areas of the county. The investigator was assisted by other deputies of the Sheriff Office as well as troopers.

Stop sticks were deployed and the vehicle finally came to a stop near the intersection of North Highway 11 at Cheohee Valley Road. The driver was placed under arrest and the vehicle was recovered. No injuries were reported.

The driver was then taken to the Oconee County Detention Center and placed on a Temporary Custody Order as the investigator will be seeking warrants in the morning.

The name of the person arrested is Ricky Lee Rogers of 425 Ploma Drive in Salem.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Fair Play Woman on Prostitution Charges

Jongsoon Back

Jongsoon Back

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Fair Play woman earlier this afternoon on solicitation of prostitution charges.

51 year old Jongsoon Back of 239 Herring Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:13pm. According to the jail, she is still being held on a $470 surety bond.

The Sheriff’s Office had received numerous complaints from citizens concerning King’s Spa, which is located on Herring Road in Fair Play. Those complaints centered around prostitution. The Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.

Earlier today, an undercover agent entered the business and was solicited for sexual favors for money. Law enforcement officers entered the business at that time and arrested Back for solicitation of prostitution.

Back was issued a uniform traffic ticket on the charge and was transported to the Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Last of Five Wanted in 2013 Receiving Stolen Goods Case

Brain Lee Banks

Brain Lee Banks

Daman Paul Strickland, Jr.

Daman Paul Strickland, Jr.

Lesiel Anderson Finley

Lesiel Anderson Finley

Rip Patrick Bryant

Rip Patrick Bryant

Timothy Rip Bryant

Timothy Rip Bryant

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Liberty man last Friday morning on an outstanding warrant of Receiving Stolen Goods from a case that occurred back in October of 2013.

20 year old Timothy Rip Bryant of 246 Joyce Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:46am. Bryant was picked up by the Easley Police Department, which notified the Sheriff’s Office. A deputy met up with officers at the Wal-Mart in Central to bring Bryant back to Oconee County.

Bryant was the last of five people arrested who were charged in the case. 46 year old Lesiel Anderson Finley, 40 year old Rip Patrick Bryant, and 48 year old Brian Lee Banks, all of 738 Old Clemson Highway in Seneca and 34 year old Daman Paul Strickland, Jr. of 75 Latimer Ridge Road in Honea Path were all arrested back in October of last year and each charged with Receiving Stolen Goods.

A deputy responded the morning of October 16th, 2013 to an address on Old Clemson Highway to reports of items missing from a residence that he was in the process of moving into. Witnesses reported seeing the items at a nearby residence where all five individuals were contacted. Some of items were recovered and the individuals told the deputy that they were not sure how the items came into their possession.

As the investigation continued, warrants were obtained against all five persons in the case. The total amount of the items taken, according to warrants, was around $5,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges One, Seeks Another in June Walhalla Arson

Christopher Edward Burrell

Christopher Edward Burrell

Amy Dawn Lakey

Amy Dawn Lakey

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Toccoa, Georgia woman with Third degree Arson due to an incident that occurred back on June 20th in Walhalla. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking a Walhalla man on four separate counts related to the case.

31 year old Amy Dawn Lakey, who address on warrants is listed as 304 Brazwell Street, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center yesterday around 1:17pm. Brazwell was arrested by Walhalla Police on Forgery Charges and was later served the Arson warrant by a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office.

The individual currently being sought is 21 year old Christopher Edward Burrell of 403 Dodge City Drive in Walhalla on charges of Third Degree Arson, Second Degree Burglary, Third Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny.

A deputy responded to an address on Hope Drive where fire personnel were on the scene in regards to a fire at a residence. Due to their initial investigation, fire personnel believed that the fire may have been intentionally set inside the home. The case was eventually turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

As the investigation continued and witnesses interviewed and evidence gathered, warrants were obtained charging Lakey and Burrell on the arson charges. Warrants said that there was “significant damage” to the house.

In addition, warrants also charge Burrell with entering the residence on Hope Drive back on June 20th to set the fire, plus, Burrell is accused of entering a building on the property and taking tools from that building. The value of the tools taken was less than $2,000.

The surety bond amount on the arson charge on Lakey is $25,000 and she is still being held at the Detention Center.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Christopher Edward Burrell is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation in the case.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges a Westminster Man on Sexual Battery Charges

Bill David West

Bill David West

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man late yesterday evening on charges of a sexual battery involving a 22 year old woman.

The official charge against 59 year old Bill David West of 106 Long Drive is Third Degree Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct.

A deputy responded to Oconee Medical Center yesterday morning due to reports of a sexual assault. The case was referred to the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that West engaged in a sexual battery on the woman, however, coercion was not used as the woman was asleep and woke up as the act was being committed. The assault occurred at an address in Seneca.

West is currently at the Oconee County Detention Center on a $25,000 surety bond.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.