Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Westminster Man and Woman on Drug Charges

Devon Samuel Prater

Devon Samuel Prater

Sarah Margaret Whitten

Sarah Margaret Whitten

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man and woman on drug charges in an early Saturday morning incident.

21 year old Sarah Margaret Whitten of 202 Oconee Avenue and 20 year old Devon Samuel Prater of 897 Old Walhalla Highway were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:11am and 4:43am respectively.

Deputies were conducting a traffic checkpoint at the intersection of Dr. John’s Road and Ridgefield Road near Westminster early Saturday morning when a white Acura pulled up to the checkpoint area.

Deputies report smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked the driver to pull off to the side of the road, whereupon deputies received consent to search the vehicle.

The search of the vehicle produced almost 350 grams of marijuana plus 8 pills of Hydrocodone, 130 pills of Oxycodone, and around half a gram of meth.

A handgun and ammunition and $1,711 in cash were seized by deputies as well.

Whitten and Prater were released from the Oconee County Detention Center on Saturday as both received a combined $40,000 personal recognizance bond.

Around $3,500 in marijuana, $1,200 in prescription pills, and $50 dollars of methamphetamine were seized.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Three on Drug Charges During Monday Morning Traffic Stop

Harvey Ray Ensley

Harvey Ray Ensley

Tequila Ann McAlister

Tequila Ann McAlister

Whitney Jewell Harper

Whitney Jewell Harper

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested three individuals, one male and two females, on drug charges after an early Monday morning traffic stop.

A deputy around 2:25am on routine patrol on Ebenezer Road in the West Union area observed a green in color Kia Soul cross over the white line as it turned right onto Country Junction Road. Dispatch advised the deputy that the tag on the vehicle came back suspended.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop on Country Junction Road near Powell Road and asked the driver and the passengers for their identification. The deputy noticed as lot of movement in the vehicle between the passengers.

The deputy was advised by dispatch that the driver, 58 year old Harvey Ray Ensley, had a suspended South Carolina driver’s license, upon which Ensley was arrested. Deputies were given consent to search the vehicle by Ensley.

Deputies asked the front seat passenger, 37 year old Tequila Ann McAlister and the back seat passenger, 25 year old Whitney Jewell Harper, to step out of the vehicle. Upon the search, deputies discovered a ladies coin purse in the pocket of a red jacket in a stack of clothes in the back.

The coin purse contained drug paraphernalia, according to deputies. As the investigation continued, deputies also discovered in the back a bag containing what appeared to be methamphetamine, two red pill containers that contained prescription pills, and a dark bag that appeared to contain heroin. No one in the vehicle claimed any of the drugs or paraphernalia. All three subjects were placed under arrest and the vehicle was towed.

According to deputies, around 3.23 grams of meth was discovered as well as around 0.5 gram of heroin plus almost 24 various prescription pills.

Ensley, of 125 Beaver Lake Drive in West Union, has been charged in warrants with one count of Distribution of Methamphetamine, one count of Possession of Heroin, and two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Ensley was also charged with Driving under Suspension.

McAlister, of 146 River Bend Trail in Walhalla, has been charged in warrants with one count of Distribution of Methamphetamine, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Possession of Heroin.

Harper, of 212 Blue Ridge Riding Club Road in West Union, has been charged in warrants with one count of Distribution of Methamphetamine, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Possession of Heroin.

According to deputies, around $320 of meth, around $150 in prescription pills, and around $125 in heroin were seized.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Greenville Man on Outstanding Larceny Warrant

Lonnie Michael Tucker, Jr.

Lonnie Michael Tucker, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Greenville man last Friday evening on an outstanding Grand Larceny warrant after a traffic stop.

19 year old Lonnie Michael Tucker, Jr., whose address on a uniform traffic ticker is listed as 225 Standing Springs Road in Greenville, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:18pm.

A deputy was traveling on Highway 11 near the Fair Play area when the deputy spotted a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The subject was clocked by the deputy traveling 87 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop and as the deputy was issuing the driver, Tucker, a traffic ticket, he was advised by dispatch that Tucker had an outstanding warrant. Tucker was placed under arrest by the deputy and his vehicle was towed.

Tucker was issued a uniform traffic ticker for Reckless Driving. The outstanding warrant charges Tucker with Grand Larceny for a May 12th, 2012 incident in which a golf cart was taken that belonged to Chickasaw Point Golf Course. The value of the cart taken was around $6,000.

Tucker was released from the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $10,445 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help Regarding Multiple Sweetbriar Trail Burglaries

Vehicle of Interest In Regards to Sweetbriar Trail Burglaries

Vehicle of Interest In Regards to Sweetbriar Trail Burglaries

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding multiple burglaries that have taken place over the past several months in the Foxwood Hills area.

Deputies responded to 131 Sweetbriar Trail near Westminster on March 31st, May 11th, and July 10th in regards to items that were missing from the residence and an outbuilding on the property.

Investigators believe that items totaling around $14,000 combined have been taken in the three burglaries. Several tools, a log splitter, pots and pans, fishing equipment, a firearm, DVD’s and VHS tapes and aluminum tubing were reportedly taken.

A deer camera captured in the spring an image of what investigators believe was a Dodge Ram full size pickup on the property. The pickup appears to be a late 1990’s or early 2000’s model that is white or silver in color with mud tires. The truck, however, has a black passenger side door. A witness told a deputy investigating the first burglary that they had seen one white male and a white in color Chevy full size 1500 pickup on the scene. There appeared to be a second male inside the house, who the witness thought might be the homeowner but investigators determined that it was not the homeowner.

The Dodge pickup is a vehicle of interest in the case.

If you have any information on these three burglaries on Sweetbriar Trail near Foxwood Hills, contact 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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

Michael Anthony Silva, Jr.

Michael Anthony Silva, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man yesterday evening on drug charges.

45 year old Michael Anthony Silva, Jr. of 203 D Street in Seneca was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:46pm after a deputy and a DSS employee responded to the D Street location in regards to a welfare check on children at the residence.

Upon arrival and identifying themselves to Silva at the door of the residence, the deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the house. Upon further investigation, marijuana was discovered on a table inside the house.

The marijuana was divided up into bags and then divided further into several smaller bags. Narcotics agents from the Sheriff’s Office were notified and took over the investigation.

The amount of marijuana discovered was around 85 grams with a street value of around $2,125.

The children that were found in the home were adult age, according to deputies.

Silva has been charged by the Sheriff’s Office with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana in a warrant obtained Friday afternoon.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Locating Fair Play Man in Drug Case

Ronald Glenn Wood

Ronald Glenn Wood

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a Fair Play man who did not show up for his trial in General Sessions court on drug charges this week.

Two General Sessions Bench Warrants charge 56 year old Ronald Glenn Wood with Failure to Appear for his trial which was scheduled to begin on October 15th.

Wood’s last known address was 435 Crosswinds Road in Fair Play.

Wood was arrested on May 28th, 2013 on two outstanding warrants charging him with distributing a quantity of methamphetamine on two separate occasions, once on August 15th, 2012 and then again on September 12th, 2012, to an undercover agent working at the direction of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

During a bond hearing, Wood was given a combined $10,000 surety bond. Wood posted bond on November 8th, 2013 and was released from the Oconee County Detention Center.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ronald Glenn Wood, contact 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces New Graduate from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy

From L-R: Chief Deputy Kevin Davis, Deputy Jaime Hellams and Captain Jeff Underwood

From L-R: Chief Deputy Kevin Davis, Deputy Jaime Hellams and Captain Jeff Underwood

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announces a new graduate from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

Deputy Jamie Hellams is the sixth graduate from the Academy since Sheriff Mike Crenshaw was sworn in as Sheriff on January 1st, 2013. Hellams graduated last Friday, October 10th.

Hellams is a 2006 graduate of Walhalla High School and holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tri-County Technical College.

Hellams worked in private business and for Oconee County at the Rock Quarry for 8 months before being hired by the Sheriff’s Office.

Hellams has been assigned to Bravo Shift as a Road Patrol Deputy.

“White Cane Safety Day” Recognized Today in South Carolina

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————“White Cane Safety Day” is recognized today in South Carolina and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens of the laws pertaining the use of white canes or guide dogs by those who are visually impaired.

According to South Carolina law (Section 43-33-50), the Governor each year “shall take suitable public notice on October 15th as White Cane Safety Day.” The Governor also issues a proclamation and call upon the citizens of South Carolina to observe the law and encourages the use proper safety procedures and consideration of disabled citizens throughout all areas of the state, regardless of location.

Section 56-5-3200 of the South Carolina Code of Laws states that whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where such pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and before proceeding shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian. However, Section 56-5-3190 of the same South Carolina Code of Laws states that only a person totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated can carry a cane or walking stick in a raised or extended position which is white in color or white tipped with red.

Tickets can be issued for violations of these two laws. Violations of both laws are considered misdemeanors and each is punishable by a fine of not more than $25 and/or jail time exceeding 10 days.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests California Man on Drug Charges

Duncan Marijuana Arrest #2

Duncan Marijuana Arrest #3

Duncan Marijuana Arrest

Eugene Duncan, Jr.

Eugene Duncan, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sacramento, CA man on drug charges yesterday after a traffic stop along I-85 in the southern part of the county.

33 year old Eugene Duncan, Jr. of 261 Graves Avenue was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:02pm on Temporary Custody Order until a warrant could be obtained.

Deputies initiated a traffic stop around 3:25pm on a white KIA which had a brake light out on I-85 southbound near Highway 11/exit 1, which is about a mile from the South Carolina/Georgia line. The driver, Duncan, told deputies that he was headed to Georgia to see his daughter.

According to deputies, Duncan was nervous during the stop as a deputy wrote Duncan a warning ticket for the brake light that was out. Deputies received consent to search the vehicle Duncan was in, which was rental car. A K-9 unit also arrived on the scene and the deputies K-9 conducted a free air sniff. The K-9 alerted deputies to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.

During the search, deputies discovered a package wrapped in wrapping paper in the back seat which Duncan said was a present for his daughter. After opening the package, deputies discovered 1.6 pounds of high grade marijuana inside. According to narcotics agents, the value of the marijuana discovered was around $5,000.

A warrant obtained today charges Duncan with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Anderson County Woman, Athens, Georgia Man on Drug Trafficking Charges in Separate Incidents

Tabitha Ann Hammond

Tabitha Ann Hammond

Timothy Charles Pinkham

Timothy Charles Pinkham

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson County woman and an Athens, Georgia man on drug trafficking charges Sunday in separate incidents in the county.

34 year old Tabitha Ann Hammond of 802 Anderson Street in Belton, SC and 57 year old Timothy Charles Pinkham of 200 Georgetown Drive in Athens, GA were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:23am and 9:02pm respectively Sunday.

Hammond was arrested as a result of an investigation by a deputy on routine patrol as she and another male were seen by that officer exiting the Timberlake Boat Ramp on Boat Ramp Road near Townville around 3am, which is after the boat ramp closes except for those who are fishing

As the investigation continued, Hammond told the deputy that she had some prescription pills in a bag as well as methamphetamine.

The deputy discovered drug paraphernalia in the bag along with three large bags with a crystal like substance inside and a bag full of pills. Hammond admitted that the bag was hers.

The male was issued a uniform traffic ticket on a drug paraphernalia charge due to drug paraphernalia found on his person and released as Hammond was transported to the Detention Center.

The amount of meth discovered by the deputy was almost 50 grams. 25 Alprazolam (Xanax) were discovered also as well as $1,200 in cash in Hammond’s pocket book.

Hammond has been charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine as well as Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The second and separate incident occurred early Sunday evening as a deputy on routine patrol noticed a vehicle on I-85 northbound near exit 2/Highway 59 exit with a broken headlight and a smashed windshield. The vehicle exited off the interstate at exit 4/Highway 243 and then failed to stop as it turned left onto West Fairplay Boulevard. The deputy also observed the vehicle drive over the perimeter line three times.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop and pulled the vehicle over. The deputy noticed the driver, Pinkham, had a glazed look in his eyes. Pinkham told the deputy that he had been taking Oxycodone while driving.

A K-9 officer arrived on the scene and deployed his K-9, which detected the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted, in which deputies found a bag of a clear crystal like substance in the cup holder of the center console along with drug paraphernalia.

According to the deputy, over 15 grams of meth was found.

Pinkham was taken to the detention center on a Temporary Custody Order on charges of Trafficking in Methamphetamine. Warrants were obtained Monday afternoon against Pinkham on those charges.