Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Westminster Man on Multiple Charges

Steven Matthew Neal

Steven Matthew Neal

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster area man over the weekend on multiple offenses, including drug and explosives charges.

24 year old Steven Matthew Neal of 557 Levi Lane in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:01pm this past Saturday. According to warrants, Neal has been charged with possession of a controlled substance (diazepam), possession of 1.4 grams of methamphetamine, and possession of a pipe bomb, which consisted of a PVC pipe and an electric fuse.

According to deputies, dispatch advised deputies to be on the lookout for a white colored sedan that had left the Dollar General on Wells Highway Saturday morning with three male passengers inside. One subject was reportedly acting suspiciously and one subject was reportedly wearing body armor.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s deputy spotted a vehicle matching that description on Highway 123 and got behind the vehicle on Radio Station Road near Seneca. Due to the fact that it matched the vehicle description given by dispatch and the fact that the vehicle’s headlights were not on and it was raining, the deputy performed a traffic stop and the vehicle pulled into an address on Stork Way.

The deputy asked the driver for his license, registration, and proof of insurance which was provided. During the questioning of the individuals in the car, one of the passengers showed the deputy a bullet proof vest that was sitting on the floorboard beneath his feet. The officer noticed that a passenger in the back seat, identified as Neal, was acting nervously and making a lot of unnecessary movements. The deputy also observed that Neal had a knife on his side, whereupon the deputy had Neal step out of the vehicle to remove the knife, upon which Neal returned to the car.

Two other deputies arrived on the scene, where consent was given by the driver to search the vehicle. As the passengers in the car were searched after exiting the vehicle, deputies found on Neal a PVC pipe wrapped in electrical tape with a fuse coming out of the top that appeared to deputies to be a pipe bomb. Deputies also found an empty PVC pipe with electrical tape and a rag inside the PVC pipe. A fuse container was also found on Neal in his right shoe that contained a plastic baggie with a clear substance inside.

Deputies also found upon searching the vehicle another clear plastic baggie and one orange pill inside the glove compartment. Neal told deputies that the clear plastic baggies belonged to him.

Members of the Anderson County Bomb Squad arrived on the scene and rendered the reported pipe bomb safe and returned it to the deputy, where it was placed into evidence. Also placed into evidence by deputies was the body armor, which one of the other individuals said he was wearing in the Dollar General store to get Neal.

The other two individual in the vehicle were released and Neal was then transported to the Oconee County Detention Center. Neal is still being held at the Detention Center on a combined $40,000 surety bond.

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

Update on Thomas Cobb CSC with a Minor Story

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

Yesterday’s press release on the Thomas Cobb CSC with a Minor arrest had contained an error in the age of the female minor that was the victim. The victim was between the ages of 11 and 14, with the correct age being 13, instead of 10 years old as mentioned in the press release.

We regret and apologize for this error and this has been corrected in an updated press release.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges Seneca Man with Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

Thomas Lamar Cobb, Jr.

Thomas Lamar Cobb, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and charged a Seneca area man with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor charges after an incident that occurred over this past weekend.

40 year old Thomas Lamar Cobb, Jr. of 36 Gammell Street in Seneca was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 2:07pm yesterday.

According to incident reports, a deputy responded to an address on Brown Street in the Seneca area concerning a reported case of child abuse. When the deputy arrived, the complainant told the deputy that her daughter was staying with a friend at an address on Goddard Avenue on the Utica Mill Hill when the daughter told her that she was reportedly assaulted by the accused. The deputy advised her to go to the emergency room to be examined. The deputy then went to the incident location on Goddard Avenue and continued the investigation, where a second individual was taken to the emergency room by the deputy due to the condition of the mother and Department of Social Services was notified. An investigator from the Criminal Investigations Division was notified.

According to the arrest warrants, Cobb is accused of engaging in a sexual battery with a female minor, with the victim being 13 years old at the time of the incident.

Cobb is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a $45,000 surety bond.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Files Additional Charges Against Anderson County Man

Jack Daniel Glenn

Jack Daniel Glenn

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has filed additional charges against an Anderson County man who was arrested over the weekend during a license checkpoint.

38 year old Jack Daniel Glenn of 1036 Old Gantt Mill Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:42pm Saturday evening after being arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Controlled Substance as the result of the checkpoint in the 800 block of Coneross Creek Road. Glenn was also issued a uniform traffic ticket for Simple Possession of Marijuana. It was also discovered during the checkpoint that Glenn had outstanding warrants for Receiving/Possessing Stolen Goods in November 2003 and for 2nd Degree Burglary from April 2004.

Deputies also discovered that Glenn had items in his vehicle during an inventory of that vehicle. During the course of that investigation, Glenn was charged with Third Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny. Those warrants were served to Glenn yesterday.

According to warrants, Glenn entered a building at an address on Seneca Creek Road in the Seneca area on March 22nd without consent of the owner and with the intent of committing a crime. Warrants also allege that Glenn took records, an old refrigerator, and scrap metal valued at around $200 from the Seneca Creek Road location.

Glenn is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center. The total surety bond amount on the Third Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny charges is $5,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Mountain Rest Man on Attempted Murder Charges

Matthew Thomas Moore

Matthew Thomas Moore

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Mountain Rest man with Attempted Murder charges in relation to an incident that occurred yesterday morning.

Besides the Attempted Murder charge, 29 year old Matthew Thomas Moore of 225 Little Road in Mountain Rest has also been charged Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime.

According to investigators, deputies were dispatched to an address on Verner Mill Road in Mountain Rest around 9:44am. When the deputies arrived, they were notified that the incident that they had been dispatched to had taken place at the Little Road address. The suspect, identified as Matthew Moore, was approached by three of the deputies while another deputy attended to the victim in the incident.

Moore stated that everything was fine and nothing had happened. After Moore was placed in investigative detention, deputies were told that the victim came over to the Little Road address the previous night to watch television and then went to sleep on the couch. Moore got a ride to the Little Road residence the next morning where Moore went to his bedroom to retrieve an item and then accused the victim of taking an item of his.

According to the incident report, Moore reportedly assaulted the victim by hitting him on the head and face and Moore also reportedly had a knife in his hand. The victim got up and ran outside back to his residence, where 911 was called. Blood could be seen, according to the incident report, on the victim’s neck.

Investigators arrived on the scene and the victim was then airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Moore was transported to the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center for questioning and was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around midnight yesterday.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Burglary and Larceny Charges

Christina Collins

Christina Collins

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster area woman Tuesday on burglary and larceny charges.

20 year old Christina Lynn Collins of 221 South Spring Street, Apartment 221 in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:22pm. According to warrants, she has been charged with one count of Petit Larceny, one count of Grand Larceny, and one count of Second Degree Burglary.

According to investigators, a deputy responded to an address on Sigmon Drive in Westminster around 7:13pm Monday in regards to a burglary and met with a married couple. The husband told the deputy that he went inside his house and noticed that some items were gone, whereupon he went outside and called law enforcement. Once the deputy arrived on the scene, the house was cleared.

The victim told the deputy that various technology items and jewelry was missing from the home. The deputy then continued his investigation including taking statements from the victims.

As a result of the investigation, Collins was eventually arrested and charged. According to the arrest warrant on the Petit Larceny charge, Collins is accused of stealing a Phillips Blu- Ray Player, a grooming kit, jewelry, cash and video games from the Sigmon Road address. The Grand Larceny warrant charges Collins with stealing a television set, a PlayStation, two WII’s and other electronic equipment from the same location. Collins is accused of breaking into the Sigmon Drive address without consent of the owner with the intent on committing a crime in the 2nd Degree Burglary warrant.

Collins is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $15,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Informs Area Churches on Proper Safety Procedures

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-With issues that have arisen at churches across the United States in recent years, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office wants to take a proactive stance to inform churches about proper church safety procedures and laws that can help to protect churches during their worship services, especially as it regards organized disruptions of those services.

While churches in Oconee County have not seen many of the problems that other churches around the country have dealt with, Sgt. Mike McGowan feels that preparation beforehand is the best way to deal with any future problems that may arise.

“We used to say that certain things that happened in other places can’t happen here,” says Sgt. McGowan, who provides information and meets with local area churches to coordinate church safety meetings. “However, society has changed and churches need to understand the importance of being prepared before an event could happen. We are not trying to create panic but we are partnering with our area churches to keep everyone safe so they can enjoy their worship experience.”

Sgt. McGowan has held several church safety meetings with Oconee County churches to make them aware of certain issues that may arise, from how to protect church property to preventing break-ins and thefts to answering questions regarding the rights of Concealed Weapon Permit holders to carry firearms in churches.

“When most people think of church safety, the first thing that comes to mind is regarding church shootings and how to prevent them,” continues Sgt. McGowan. “However, church safety is a wide ranging set of issues and when I conduct church safety meetings, I talk about church shootings, but I also discuss how to prevent someone from taking money from their church to how to best protect their property from being vandalized to what the law says about Concealed Weapon Permit holders. It is a wide range of topics that come up during every meeting.”

One issue that has arisen in other parts of the country has been disruptions in church services, including individuals coming into churches and disrupting the pastor as the sermon commences. Section 16-17-520 of the South Carolina Code of Laws is the law that covers disruptions in worship services, or entering such premises while intoxicated, or using profane language. The charge carries a monetary fine of up to $100 or imprisonment up to 1 year or both.

Sgt. McGowan recommends the following safety steps for churches to deal with disruptions in worship services of any kind:

1) Someone in a leadership or office holding position should ask them to refrain from their activity or ask them to leave if they fail to do so. If at all possible, refrain from physically placing hands on those individuals unless it is necessary to protect themselves or others from physical harm.

2) Regardless of circumstances, 911 should be called to request law enforcement assistance. The Sheriff’s Office will respond immediately or notify the appropriate city police department.

3) If possible, someone should document the incident by recording the incident using a smartphone.

4) If deemed necessary, it may be a good idea to having the auditorium or sanctuary cleared for the safety of others who are there.

5) If they do voluntarily leave, try to get a vehicle description or tag number. Contact law enforcement with that information.

6) When law enforcement arrives and those individuals are still there, have those individuals who are disrupting the service placed on trespass notice. The Sheriff’s Office will arrest anyone in violation of disturbing a worship service.

7) Assist law enforcement with thorough written statements and any video evidence.

8) If in the future these individuals return, immediately call 911.

Sgt. McGowan also recommends that churches consider forming church safety teams consisting of current and retired law enforcement, military and Concealed Weapons Permit holders.

If anyone church is interested in hosting a church safety meeting with Sgt. McGowan, please contact him at 864-638-2017.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Oconee County Woman on Multiple Drug Charges

Brenda Rogers Bates

Brenda Rogers Bates

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman yesterday on multiple drug charges during routine road patrol operations.

52 year old Brenda Rogers Bates was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:36pm. Arrest warrants list Bates address as 162 Ashley Drive in Walhalla, while a uniform traffic ticket lists Bates address as 161 A Whitewater Farms Road in Tamassee.

According to deputies, an older Chevy vehicle was traveling on West-Oak Highway on the center line of the road. When a deputy noticed this happen a third time, a traffic stop was initiated in the 8500 block of West-Oak Highway.

The deputy identified Bates as the driver and according to the deputy; Bates appeared to be staggering when the deputy was speaking with her as though she may have been impaired. Bates reportedly told the deputy that she was not on medication and that there was not anything illegal in the vehicle after being asked by the deputy. Bates then gave the deputy consent to search the vehicle.

After receiving the consent, the deputy searched Bates’ purse, whereupon he found a small bag inside the purse that appeared to contain marijuana. Also, the deputy found a spoon and two syringes which are consistent with the use of methamphetamine. The deputy also discovered three baggies which appeared to contain meth, plus, four different pill bottles that contained a combined total of 31 pills believed by the deputy to be narcotics. Other items, including a scale and a few other bags were found as well.

Bates was placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and her vehicle was towed.

According to warrants, Bates was written uniform traffic tickets for simple possession of marijuana and for a violation of the County’s drug paraphernalia ordinance. According to the arrest warrants, Bates has also been charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute methamphetamine as well as possession with intent to distribute two controlled substances (alprazolam and hydrocodone).

At this time, Bates remains at the Oconee County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Central Man on Grand Larceny Charges

Chad Jeremy Dalton

Chad Jeremy Dalton

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Central man over the weekend on Grand Larceny charges after around $4,000 in cash was stolen from a Seneca area home.

41 year old Chad Jeremy Dalton of 268 Peach Drive in Central was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 2:31pm on Friday afternoon.

According to deputies, an officer responded to an address on South Walnut Street in Seneca due to a reported larceny. The compliant told the deputy that he allowed his grandson to stay with him overnight and in the morning discovered that the money was missing. The complainant stated that the only persons in the home besides himself were his wife and his grandson.

The complainant stated that the money was held in a safe in the basement but had been opened because the lock was rusted. The complainant stated that Dalton had gone downstairs to get some clothes and when he came back up; he was ready to leave and had called family to take him to Greenville.

According to warrants, the larceny took place on March 13th.

As of this time, Dalton is still being held at the Oconee Count Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Anderson County Man on Multiple Charges

Jack Daniel Glenn

Jack Daniel Glenn

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson County man over the weekend on multiple charges, including warrants dating back to 2003 and 2004, during routine enforcement operations.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office were conducting a license checkpoint Saturday evening in the 800 block of Coneross Creek Road near Seneca when a deputy noticed a black older model Chevrolet Blazer pull up to the checkpoint around 6:34pm. The driver of the vehicle told the deputy that he could not find the paperwork to the vehicle since the vehicle had been recently purchased, whereupon the deputy asked the driver to pull the vehicle to the side of the road in order to find the bill of sale.

A check of the driver’s license of the vehicle’s driver revealed that he was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on warrants. The deputy informed the driver of the warrants and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle. The deputy then observed the driver hand some items to a passenger. There was also a black bag under the driver’s seat that almost fell out of the vehicle. The deputy asked the driver what was in the black bag and the driver stated drug paraphernalia. Consent was then given by the driver to the officer to search the black bag and the vehicle as well.

Upon a search of the black bag, a black case was found that contained needles and drug paraphernalia. A search of the vehicle revealed a blue pill bottle under clothes in the passenger seat that had no label on it. The driver took responsibility for the contents of the pill bottle. The deputy also observed a small baggie containing what appeared to methamphetamine, two small baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana, and 23 round white pills. The driver was then placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and the vehicle was towed.

38 year old Jack Daniel Glenn of 1036 Old Gantt Mill Road in Anderson was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance (Lorazepam). Glenn was also issued a uniform traffic ticket for simple possession of marijuana.

Glenn also had two outstanding arrest warrants, one from November 2003 for receiving/possession of stolen goods for having a white trailer in his possession that belonged to an individual in Anderson County that was recovered at a Lee Drive address in Fair Play and an April 2004 warrant for 2nd Degree Burglary for entering a residence on Lee Drive in Fair Play.

Glenn was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:42pm on March 22nd. Glenn received a personal recognizance bond on the simple possession of marijuana charges. Glenn is still being held though at the Detention Center on a combined $17,500 surety bond on the remaining charges.

The case remains under investigation due to items that were found in the vehicle during the inventory of the vehicle.