Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Issues Arrest Warrants in Case of Stolen Vehicle

2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona Edition

2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona Edition

Madison Brooke Hall

Madison Brooke Hall

Robert Eugene Woodward

Robert Eugene Woodward

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has issued arrest warrants in a case involving a stolen vehicle from the Atlanta metro area located in Oconee County last Thursday.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was dispatched to a storage building unit on West-Oak Highway regarding a stolen vehicle that was taken on April 1st from USA Auto Sales in Lawrenceville, Georgia and was located in a storage unit on the property. An investigator with the Criminal Investigations Division was notified as well.

As the investigation continued, deputies were able to determine that the storage unit in question was rented to a Townville woman, Madison Brooke Hall. After obtaining a search warrant for the unit in question, a truck was located inside matching the description of the truck that was stolen. That truck, a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona Edition, was the one found inside the storage unit. Arrangements were made last Thursday to pick up the truck and return it to the owner.

Deputies were able to make contact with Hall last Thursday at an address on Walnut Drive in Townville to speak with her about the incident. A witness stated to deputies that a white male in a black t-shirt ran out the back door of a residence while the deputies were there. The person in question, 44 year old Robert Eugene Woodward, has outstanding warrants in four states, including South Carolina, according to deputies.

Investigators obtained warrants against Hall, 18 years old, last Friday on charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. Her information has been entered into the National Crime Information Center.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Madison Brooke Hall or Robert Eugene Woodward, you are 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Anderson County Men on Shoplifting, Drug Charges

Daniel Christopher Bennett

Daniel Christopher Bennett

Michael Joseph Barberi

Michael Joseph Barberi

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Anderson County men yesterday evening on drug and shoplifting charges.

36 year old Michael Joseph Barberi, who resides at an address on Rice Street in Belton, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:18pm. Another Belton man, 26 year old Daniel Christopher Bennett of Cheddar Road, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:20pm.

Deputies with the Uniform Patrol Division were dispatched to the Seneca Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon in regards to a shoplifting in progress. Upon their arrival, deputies were informed that the suspects had concealed items in several Wal-Mart bags and were exiting the store.

Deputies were able to stop two suspects, Barberi and Bennett, who matched a description of the suspects give to the officers by Wal-Mart employees. Upon further investigation, deputies discovered that Barberi and Bennett had shoplifted around $2,075.00 worth of merchandise, according to the incident report.

Also, the investigation revealed that Barberi and Bennett were both in possession of prescription medication.

Barberi and Bennett were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on Temporary Custody Orders until warrants were obtained today.

Those warrants charge Barberi and Bennett with one count each of shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance (Alprazolam).

Local Emergency Planning Commission Make Food Drive Donation to the Salvation Army

From L-R: Oconee County Emergency Prepardness Director Scott Krein, Oconee County Sheriff's Office PIO Jimmy Watt and Major Grady Pearson of the Salvation Army

From L-R: Oconee County Emergency Prepardness Director Scott Krein, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office PIO Jimmy Watt and Major Grady Pearson of the Salvation Army


(Walhalla, SC)———————————-Earlier today, the Local Emergency Planning Commission in Oconee County made a donation to the Salvation Army of canned food items that were collected during a recent food drive among LEPC member organizations.
Around 200 cans were delivered by Scott Krein, Emergency Management Director for Oconee County and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. Both Krein and Watt serve on the Local Emergency Planning Commission.
The donations were accepted by Major Grady Pearson at the Salvation Army location on South John Street in Walhalla.
The Local Emergency Planning Commission is a partnership of business, governmental, and public safety agencies that meet once every quarter and hosts events, such as the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. It meets to help better plan for events and contingencies, such as a chemical emergency response and preparedness plan, and to build better understanding between all the agencies involved and to understand what resources are available.

2015 Crime Stoppers of Oconee County Golf Tournament 30 Days Away

Crimestoppers Logo

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc. golf tournament is exactly 30 days away and if you have been thinking about becoming a hole sponsor and/or fielding a team, there is still time to sign up.

“Crime Stoppers of Oconee County does not receive any taxpayer money and there is no money allocated for Crime Stoppers in the Sheriff’s Office budget,” says Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the Coordinator of Crime Stoppers of Oconee County. “All the money raised for the Crime Stoppers organization to pay out tips that lead to arrests in cases that are being investigated or to purchase promotional items comes from our fundraisers and through private donations. The golf tournament is one of our fundraisers and we are thankful for those who have partnered with us already.”

The tournament will be held on Thursday, April 30th at Oconee Country Club in Seneca. Registration on that day will begin at 10:30am with a 12 noon shotgun start. The format will be 4 man Captain’s Choice teams. The cost per player is $60.00. There will also be door prizes, a hole-in-one contest, and gift bags for each player. Also, mulligans will be sold the day of the tournament. A dinner will be served at the conclusion of the tournament.

Also, hole sponsorships are available at $100 each.

For more information on how to register your team or become a hole sponsor, contact Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, at 864-638-4199 or e-mail Jimmy at jwatt@oconeelaw.com.

Vietnam Era Veteran’s Ceremony Set for Tomorrow in Seneca

Vietnam Commemoration Outside 3-28-15

Press Release Courtesy of Janice Matheson
Assistant Veterans Affairs Director
Oconee County V.A. Office

(Seneca)—Vietnam-era veterans from around Oconee County will converge on the Gignilliat Community Center Gym in Seneca this Saturday, March 28th at 2:00pm to help kick-off the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

Jerry Dyar, Public Information Officer for the Oconee County Veterans Council said, “America lost almost 60,000 great young men and women in that 10-year war and hundreds of thousands more who were wounded/injured. The Department of Defense has commissioned Oconee County through our OCVC organization to organize and produce no less than two (2) countywide events each year for the next three (3) years to call attention to the service of our men and women during the Vietnam War (1965-1975). This Saturday we’ll hopefully welcome hundreds of Vietnam-era veterans to the Gignilliat Gym in Seneca for the unveiling of a special 50th Anniversary Vietnam War

Commemorative flag and remarks from local officials including the Honorable Alex Macaulay, former State Senator, 10th Circuit Court Judge, and a former Vietnam “combat medic” War veteran”. Henry Gordon, Dave Bertges and George White who are heading up the planning efforts for the next three years for the Veterans Council extend a warm invitation to ALL Oconee County Citizens, and of course, the men and women who served in our military forces between 1965 and 1975 to attend this initial ceremony.

Any questions may be directed to the Oconee County Veterans Affairs Office at 638-4231.

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

Brandon Todd Stewart

Brandon Todd Stewart

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Akron, Ohio man yesterday on drug charges near Seneca.

32 year old Brandon Todd Stewart, whose address according to warrants is West Exchange Unit 1, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:38pm.

According to deputies from the Uniformed Patrol Division, dispatchers received a call from a business on Sandifer Boulevard concerning a red truck with a male and female inside acting suspiciously. One of the employees reported that the female, who was the driver, got out of the vehicle and defecated on the bank property. A BOLO was issued for a red Dodge Truck.

Soon thereafter, employees from another Seneca area business called regarding a female who ran into the restroom of the business with a male still inside the vehicle acting suspiciously. The description given of the vehicle matched the description of the vehicle given in the BOLO.

Deputies arrived and spoke with Stewart, who acted nervously. Deputies asked Stewart for consent to search the vehicle but Stewart denied consent, saying that the owner of the vehicle was inside.

Paramedics were called to the scene to check on the female. The female gave deputies consent to search the vehicle. Upon the search, deputies discovered a small can that contained two baggies of what appeared to be methamphetamine inside a black purse.

The female was transported to Oconee Memorial Hospital while Stewart was arrested and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

Warrants obtained earlier today charge Stewart with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

The amount of meth discovered was around 4.5 grams, according to deputies.

According to deputies investigating the case, warrants will be obtained today against the female, 48 year old Teresa Diane Durham, on charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. Durham will be served the warrant once she is released from the hospital, according to deputies.

Duke Energy and county officials to test sirens around Oconee Nuclear Station

Oconee Nuclear Station

Oconee Nuclear Station

Release Courtesy of B.J. Gatten
Duke Energy

 Three-minute test scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, at approximately 11:50 a.m.
 No public action required.

SENECA, S.C. – The public alert notification sirens around the Oconee Nuclear Station will be tested Wednesday, April 8, at approximately 11:50 a.m.

The 65 sirens within 10 miles of the Oconee Nuclear Station will be tested for three-minutes to make sure each siren works properly. This full-cycle siren test is performed once each quarter in cooperation with emergency officials in Oconee and Pickens counties, who are responsible for sounding the sirens.

Hearing a siren does not mean to evacuate. In an emergency, sirens are sounded as a signal for residents to tune to a local radio or TV station that would carry an emergency alerting message. County officials use these stations to provide information to the public. If sirens are heard and residents are unsure if it is a test or an emergency, they should tune to their local radio or TV station.

For more information about the public alert notification sirens, residents can refer to information available on www.duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $121 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Participate in Criminal Domestic Violence Training

CDV Training - Picture One

CDV Training - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————Deputies with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, along with officers from the municipal police departments in Oconee County, are participating this week in Criminal Domestic Violence training.

The training, being conducted by Meghan Gresham, Assistant Attorney General with the State of South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, focuses on the many aspects of Criminal Domestic Violence, from the laws and statutes to restraining orders and orders of protection to trial issues and preparation.

Part of the training also focused on additional resources that the Attorney General’s Office offers to law enforcement agencies to preparation before and during a trail, plus, a look at the victims of domestic violence before and while the prosecution of a case goes on.

The training is part of the Sheriff’s Office ongoing efforts to combat domestic violence in Oconee County. In 2014, officers participated in training at the Law Enforcement Center that was provided by Safe Harbor, who recently opened up the counties first domestic violence shelter.

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

Steven Lee Duncan

Steven Lee Duncan

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a San Diego, California man over the weekend on multiple drug charges.

34 year old Steven Lee Duncan of 7575 Linda Vista Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:02am Sunday morning.

The arrest is a result of an investigation conducted after deputies were called to Oconee Memorial Hospital.

A variety of drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and marijuana were discovered on the person of Duncan.

In warrants obtained Saturday by deputies, Duncan has been charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Controlled Substance (1 charge for Clonazepam and 2 charges for Alprazolam). Duncan was also issued a Uniform Traffic Ticket for Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Duncan is still being held at the Detention Center on a combined $60,620.00 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Hiring of Two Deputy Sheriffs’

Deputy Gerald Chavez

Deputy Gerald Chavez

Deputy Rashad Crooks

Deputy Rashad Crooks

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announces the recent hiring of two deputies who are working in the Uniformed Patrol Division.

Deputy Rashad Crooks is a graduate of Seneca High School and Tri-County Technical College, where he majored in Criminal Justice. Crooks began his career as an Animal Control Officer and then became an officer with the Walhalla P.D. and most recently with Seneca Police Department. Deputy Crooks was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on December 15th, 2014 and was assigned to the Charlie Shift.

Deputy Geraldo Chavez attended Hanahan High School near North Charleston and graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in 2007. Before that, Chavez was a Detention Officer with the Charleston County Detention Center for approximately six years. After graduation from the Academy, Chavez was an officer with the Isle of Palms Police Department and most recently served with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. He was hired by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in December of 2014. He is assigned to the Delta Shift of the Uniformed Patrol Division.

Both deputies have recently completed departmental training and look forward to serving the citizens of Oconee County.