Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Late Tuesday Afternoon Carjacking

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a carjacking that occurred late Tuesday afternoon near the city of Westminster.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call for service around 5:52pm regarding a reported carjacking in which a black 2006 Ford Mustang was taken along with the victim’s purse near the intersection of Hobson Street and Cornelia Avenue. There had reportedly been a minor accident that occurred before the vehicle was taken.

The victim gave dispatchers a description of the suspect and said the suspect was armed with a handgun. Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division and the Criminal Investigations Division were notified and headed to the scene as the Sheriff’s Office issued an alert to surrounding agencies.

The Sheriff’s Office received word that the stolen Mustang had been located in the city of Clemson at a business near Highway 93 at Highway 76.

The Sheriff’s Office along with our law enforcement partners with the Clemson City Police Department began an investigation and began a search for two subjects who took off on foot from officers.

Investigators received word that one subject, a Hispanic male, has been taken into custody.

Officers are looking for a second suspect, who appears to be Caucasian and is possibly wearing a blue coat and tan pants. The male has short, dark hair and is possibly in his mid-20’s.

If you have any information on the location or you see someone matching the description of this second subject involved in this late Tuesday afternoon carjacking, you are asked to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Issues Release to Warn Citizens about Shake and Bake Style Meth Labs

Meth Picture One

Meth Picture Three

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–With the discovery of a back pack that contained items that could potentially be used in a shake and bake style methamphetamine lab, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, in our efforts to be proactive, is warning citizens to use extreme caution upon discovery of anything that appears to be suspicious.

Back on December 2nd, a Narcotics Agent with the Special Operations Division was notified by a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Agent of a possible Methamphetamine lab discovered down an embankment along a portion of Rich Mountain Road near Mountain Rest.

A back pack had been discovered that contained items that could be used in the production of Methamphetamine via a shake and bake style lab. However, a Methamphetamine lab was not discovered and the back pack was properly disposed of.

The Sheriff’s Office has seen a reduction in the number of meth labs dismantled in the last few years, from 22 in 2013 to 15 in 2014 to 7 last year. However, that does not mean that citizens should let their guard down or think that these shake and bake style labs have totally gone away.

“The reductions in the shake and bake style labs can be traced to a series of factors, including restrictions on the amount of pseudoephedrine that individuals can buy to the improved quality, more economical and efficient production and availability of methamphetamine that is trafficked into the country from places such as Mexico with the cartels there,” says Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “We have issued three previous press releases, on February 28th and October 15th of 2013 and March 2nd, 2015, regarding the dangers these labs present and/or the actual discovery of shake and bake labs and how to protect yourself and your family. We continue to be proactive in reporting this information as this does pose a public safety risk to everyone when they are discovered. Also, we continue to see individuals attempting to purchase Pseudoephedrine above the legal limit of what is allowed by law and we did make arrests for such charges in the last Operation Infinity drug sweep that we conducted.”

The Shake and Bake style meth labs are produced in two-liter drink bottles and then once the methamphetamine is produced and extracted, the bottles and their contents are disposed of. Even though the meth has been produced, the products that are used can remain in the bottles, which poses a health and safety risk for anyone who discovers the bottles and their contents due to the fact that the products can be highly toxic either by themselves or mixed together. And in the case of the back pack discovered December 2nd, the contents to make meth that was discovered poses a problem for the safety of our citizens and law enforcement as well.

The Sheriff’s Office is offering these tips should you discover a two-liter bottle and/or a back pack and the contents appear to be suspicious:

• If you do find a two-liter bottle and/or a back pack and the contents appear to be suspicious, do not pick up or tamper with the items. Move as far away from it as you can. The bottles could have what appears to be a substance that looks like sand in the bottom of the bottle. Also, do not tamper with other items, such as syringes, if you discover those as well.
• On a rainy day or a day in which there is a lot of moisture in the air, opening a back pack or bottle that contains either a meth lab and/or items that could be used in a shake and bake style lab could cause the contents to explode once they come in contact with the moisture.
• Never open and breath in the contents of these labs as doing so could expose you to products that could cause severe health problems and could potentially put your life at risk. For example, breathing in the contents of a meth lab could cause severe internal burning.
• Once you back away, immediately call 911 and provide as much information as you can about what was discovered and where it was discovered. Law enforcement personnel are trained to safely remove any labs and/or back packs that have been discovered.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Locates Westminster Subject Wanted on Outstanding Weapons Warrant

Matthew Blake Sosby

Matthew Blake Sosby

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Earlier today, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster subject that deputies were seeking on an outstanding warrant for Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony.

The Sheriff’s Office arrested 42 year old Matthew Blake Sosby of Edgewater Drive in Westminster without incident at Sosby’s home address. Sosby was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:31pm.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol division responded to a separate address on Edgewater Drive on November 10th in regards to reports of a burglary in which a quantity of firearms were stolen. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

An investigator, while investigating separate cases, received information that Sosby could be in possession of a quantity of the stolen firearms and based upon that investigation, some of the firearms stolen were recovered from Sosby’s residence on Edgewater Drive.

Based upon that information, the investigator was able to get the arrest warrant on Sosby for the possession charge.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release on December 1st seeking the public’s help in locating Sosby.

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

South Carolina Winter Weather Preparedness Week

SCEMD Logo

Release Courtesy of Derrec Becker
Public Information
South Carolina Emergency Management Division

Columbia, S.C. (Monday, December 5, 2016) – Governor Nikki Haley has proclaimed the week of December 4 through December 10, 2016, as South Carolina Winter Weather Preparedness Week. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service along with the agencies that comprise the State Emergency Response Team encourage everyone in South Carolina to prepare for severe winter weather by checking supplies and safety plans now.

Snowfall, ice storms and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with an ice storm or extreme cold. Winter storms can result in flooding, storm surge, closed highways, blocked roads, downed power lines and hypothermia.

Residents should take the proper winter weather precautions now during milder temperatures while the winter emergency supplies are in low demand:

 Include winter supplies like shovels and rock salt in your household emergency kit.
 Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
 Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
 Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
 Portable generators are commonly used in the winter as a result of storm-induced power outages. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and deadly. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to prevent death from carbon monoxide.
 Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
 Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. If not, it can become filled with highly flammable layers of creosote.
 Have your vehicle serviced to ensure it is prepared for the winter season.
 In every vehicle, place a winter emergency kit that includes: a shovel; windshield scraper and small broom; flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; water; snack food; matches; extra hats, socks and mittens; first aid kit with a pocket knife; medications; blankets; tow chain or rope; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares; and a fluorescent distress flag.

Download the Winter Weather Guide by clicking on this link: http://www.scemd.org/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/203-severe-winter-weather-guide

Developed by SCEMD and partner agencies specifically for South Carolina, the Severe Winter Weather guide contains tips on what to do before, during and after a major winter storm. It includes check lists, information on how to get the current status of government offices and more. The S.C. Severe Winter Weather Guide is available for download at scemd.org.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Arson Charges

Reginald Leon Holden

Reginald Leon Holden

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man last Friday morning on an outstanding warrant on charges of Arson – 2nd Degree.

36 year old Reginald Leon Holden of Goddard Avenue was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:59am by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division.

As of Noon, Holden remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $30,000 surety bond.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on Nebo Church Road the morning of November 25th in regards to reports of a structure fire with possible entrapment. Upon arriving on the scene, the deputy discovered a small fire outside of a residence and upon making entry to check the residence due to reports of possible entrapment, discovered a working fire in one room of the house.

After determining that no one was entrapped or inside the house, the deputy then exited the house and notified the fire department of his initial findings and began an investigation and started gathering evidence.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division and an Evidence Technician arrived and processed the scene.

Based upon the results of the investigation and the evidence gathered, it was determined that Holden had set fire to the residence. An arrest warrant was obtained against Holden by an investigator from the Criminal Investigations Division.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Locating Westminster Subject

Matthew Blake Sosby

Matthew Blake Sosby

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a Westminster subject who has an outstanding warrant for Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony.

The Sheriff’s Office has an arrest warrant for 42 year old Matthew Blake Sosby of Edgewater Drive in Westminster.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol division responded to a separate address on Edgewater Drive on November 10th in regards to reports of a burglary in which a quantity of firearms were stolen. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

An investigator, while investigating separate cases, received information that Sosby could be in possession of a quantity of the stolen firearms and based upon that investigation, some of the firearms stolen were recovered from Sosby’s residence on Edgewater Drive.

Based upon that information, the investigator was able to get the arrest warrant on Sosby for the possession charge.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Matthew Blake Sosby, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crimestoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides December 2016 Scam Update

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–In our continuing efforts to educate and inform our citizens on scams and how not to be a victim, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing this December 2016 scam update release.

The Sheriff’s Office has been receiving calls from our citizens in the last few days regarding an individual calling them claiming to be from law enforcement, in particular the Sheriff’s Office, informing them that either they missed jury duty or they had outstanding tickets or outstanding warrants.

In one case on November 28th, a citizen received a call from someone claiming to be Sgt. Jerry Campbell from the Sheriff’s Office, who informed the caller that they had missed jury duty and needed to pay a fine of several hundred dollars.

The person claiming to be the officer told the victim that they could go to Walgreens and purchase a prepaid card to pay the fine. While at Walgreens, the victim called the Sheriff’s Office to verify the information given and the victim was told by the Sheriff’s Office that it was a scam.

However, the victim informed the deputy that a call had already been made to the false officer and numbers from the card had been given to this false officer.

Another citizen contacted the Sheriff’s Office on November 29th to report that they had received a call from someone named Sgt. Gambrell claiming that he was from the warrants division.

A call to the number provided to deputies was answered by a Sgt. Gambrell but the call was terminated after a deputy asked the false officer which agency he worked with. The call to the number provided was placed by the Public Information Officer, Jimmy Watt, in the presence of Captain Greg Reed from the Criminal Investigations Division

“As we have said on numerous occasions, if law enforcement has outstanding warrants on a person, then law enforcement has the right to place them under arrest,” says PIO Watt. “However, the Sheriff’s Office or any law enforcement agency will not call an individual and ask for money directly to excuse a lawfully obtained arrest warrant or to cover costs of tickets or to pay any type of fines. All fines as it relates to court costs or tickets are handled during the adjudication process but a deputy does not handle any type of financial transactions such as this.”

Also, the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind everyone that if someone asks for payment via a prepaid card and/or an iTunes card, it is more than likely a scam. Legitimate businesses do not require this as a payment for services. Also, once the PIN numbers on the card is given, then money is normally lost and almost impossible to retrieve.

“Also, the Sheriff’s Office does not have any employees with the name of Jerry Campbell or an employee with the last name of Gambrell,” says PIO Watt.

PIO Watt was also notified by dispatch in reference to a scam that has perpetrated before concerning victims being called from someone claiming to be from a technology company and needing access to the victim’s computer. The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone not to allow anyone remote accesses to your computer unless you initiate the call to the technology company yourself.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Tamassee Man on Trafficking Methamphetamine Charges

Gregory Carl Peay

Gregory Carl Peay

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Tamassee man yesterday on charges of Trafficking in Methamphetamine.

53 year old Gregory Carl Peay of Sputnick Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:37am on a Temporary Custody Order until an arrest warrant was obtained.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was dispatched yesterday morning to George Todd Road in Tamassee in regards to a report of a suspicious vehicle. When the deputy arrived on the scene, he located a blue in color Chevrolet Z71 pickup sitting partially in the roadway, occupied by the Peay subject.

The deputy knocked on the window of the truck, upon which Peay awoke and opened the driver’s side door. The deputy, along with paramedics, checked on Peay to make sure that he was okay medically.

During the course of the check-up, drug paraphernalia was discovered in the seat that Peay was occupying. During the course of the investigation that began, other drug paraphernalia was discovered as well as a black pouch inside of the vehicle which contained a quantity of baggies that contained a quantity of a crystal like substance that appeared to be Methamphetamine.

Peay was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center as the vehicle was towed from the scene.

As of 10am this morning, Peay remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Operation Infinity Arrests over the Thanksgiving Weekend

Andrew Jonathan Roach

Andrew Jonathan Roach

Danielle Delphine Lawrence

Danielle Delphine Lawrence

Jerri Ann Childs

Jerri Ann Childs

Michael Dyshawn Gamble

Michael Dyshawn Gamble

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office made four drug arrests over the Thanksgiving weekend related to previous Operation Infinity drug sweeps.

Below is the information on the four arrests that were made:

1) Michael Dyshawn Gamble
Clemson, SC
40 years old
Distribution of Marijuana – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:39am on Wednesday, November 23rd
Released from the Detention Center on November 23rd on a combined $25,000 personal recognizance bond
Gamble also was booked in on an additional arrest warrant from the Seneca Police Department
Gamble was wanted as part of the 13th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on April 29th, 2016. His arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to sixteen

2) Danielle Delphine Lawrence
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Unlawful Neglect of a Child – 2 counts
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:16am on Thursday, November 24th after being transported from the Anderson County Detention Center
Released from the Detention Center on November 24th on a combined $30,000 personal recognizance bond
Lawrence was wanted as part the 13th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on April 29th, 2016. Her arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to seventeen

3) Andrew Jonathan Roach
Seneca, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Marijuana – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:44pm on Friday, November 25th
Released from the Detention Center on November 25th on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond
Roach was wanted as part of the 12th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on December 3rd, 2015. His arrests brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to eighteen

4) Jerri Ann Childs
Anderson, SC
37 years old
Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Dibutylone) – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:52pm on Thursday, November 24th after Oconee County deputies picked up Childs who was custody by Anderson County deputies
Released from the Detention Center on November 25th on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond
Childs was wanted as part of the 14th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on August 25th, 2016. Her arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to twenty-two

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Illinois Man on Multiple Charges, Including Pointing and Presenting a Firearm

Joshua Huskins

Joshua Huskins

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Hampshire, IL man on multiple charges yesterday, including four counts of Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.

33 year old Joshua Huskins of Elizabeth Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:36pm.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a parking lot of a business on
Sandifer Boulevard just before 7pm in regards to a reported altercation involving a firearm.

The deputy made contact with the suspect, identified as Huskins, in the parking lot after receiving information from witnesses, who were the victims in the case, that provided a description of the suspect and the vehicle the suspect was in.

As the investigation commenced, Huskins appeared to be intoxicated, according the deputy, and used profanity and raised his voice to the point in which it was noticeable to individuals who were passing by.

The deputy also spoke with the victim’s in the case and obtained statements from them, in which they told the deputy that Huskins had used a racial slur against two of them and had presented a firearm that he waved in the presence of the four in a threatening manner.

Based upon evidence gathered in the investigation, Huskins was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center and placed on a Temporary Custody Order.

In warrants obtained today, Huskins was charged with one count of Breach of Peace – Aggravated in Nature as well as the four counts of Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.

Huskins remains in custody at the Detention Center pending a bond hearing.