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

Lauren Lyte Bucco

Lauren Lyte Bucco

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster woman late yesterday evening on drug charges.

26 year old Lauren Lyte Bucco of President Street in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:41pm by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by agents of the Narcotics Division, Bucco has been charged with one count of Possession of Cocaine.

According to Narcotics agents, the charges against Bucco were brought about as a result of the execution of a search warrant Wednesday on the President Street address and the ongoing multi-agency, multi-million dollar drug trafficking investigation. The charges against Bucco were brought by the Sheriff’s Office due to narcotics that were found at the incident location.

As of 1pm today, Bucco remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

During the execution of the same search warrant, deputies also arrested 36 year old Mario Demetric Stowers on two drug charges brought by the Sheriff’s Office. The arrest of Stowers was announced by the Sheriff’s Office in a press release yesterday.

Due to the federal gag order remaining in place regarding the overall operation as well as the investigation continuing, the Sheriff’s Office will not comment any further at this time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help Regarding Seneca Area Vehicle Theft

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to a recent vehicle theft that occurred in the Seneca area.

A deputy spoke to the victim by phone during the early afternoon hours of Monday, February 15th regarding a silver 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 4 wheel drive Z71 pickup that was missing from Highpointe Apartments complex. According to information obtained from the victim, the truck was seen around 11pm the previous evening, Valentine’s Day, and 5am the morning of the 15th.

The truck had a chrome toolbox and 20 inch rims and is valued at around $39,000.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division, where investigators also determined that the pickup had a leveling kit installed and a Clemson University sticker in the back window.

Investigators also say that the tag on the truck is a South Carolina tag with a tag number of LKY620.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of this 2015 silver Chevrolet Silverado Z71 4 wheel drive pickup truck, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you call Crime Stoppers and all information given to Crime Stoppers is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges

Robert Jonathan Oakley

Robert Jonathan Oakley

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man late yesterday morning on three charges related to a Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor case.

39 year old Robert Jonathan Oakley of Seneca Springs Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:53am on two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Second Degree and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Third Degree.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division spoke with a parent of the victim during the late evening hours of February 9th in regards to a Criminal Sexual Conduct case. After interviews were conducted, the case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division and the child/elder abuse investigator.

As the investigation continued, the child/elder investigator was able to determine that Oakley had sexually assaulted the victim at locations in the Seneca area and the Salem area. The assaults occurred as far back as August of 2014 and last occurred in November 2015 and involved only one female victim and occurred during a time frame when the victim was between 13 and 15 years old.

Oakley remains in custody at the Detention Center after being denied bond during a bond hearing this afternoon.

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

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

Mario Demetric Stowers

Mario Demetric Stowers

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday morning on two drug charges.

36 year old Mario Demetric Stowers of President Street in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:40am.

According to arrest warrants obtained today by agents of the Narcotics Division, Stowers has been charged with one count of Possession of Cocaine and Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine.

“The charges against Stowers were brought about as a result of the execution of a search warrant yesterday morning at the President Street address and is in relation to the ongoing multi-agency, multi-million dollar drug trafficking organization investigation that began yesterday,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “The warrants obtained today are charges the Sheriff’s Office has brought against Stowers in regards to undisclosed amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine that were discovered at the incident location.”

“Due to the fact that there is still a federal gag order in place and the fact that the overall investigation is still ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office will not be able to comment any further at this time,” according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

Crime Stoppers and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Offers Many Ways to Register Teams for Upcoming Golf Tournament

Sheriff's Badge

Crimestoppers Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————With the Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc. presents the 2016 Mayberry Open Golf Tournament just around the corner on Thursday, May 5th, there are many multiple ways in which teams can register to participate in the tournament.

“We have had some teams register for the tournament already and we still have about two and a half months to go” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt, who is the Sheriff’s Office Coordinator of Crime Stoppers. “However, since our tournament will consist only of 25 teams, those interested in playing should not wait until the last minute to register.”

The newest way that teams can register is via a mobile website/form from Ken Campbell and his company, Campbell and Partners.

“Ken handles the mobile marketing program for Dick and Oconee Country Club,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “Those who are interested in using this mobile marketing program to register a team for the tournament can do so at this time.”

To register your team via this mobile marketing program, text the keyword CRIME to shortcode 63975. From there, you will receive a text back with a link to a mobile registration site. Once you click on that link, you will be taken to a website where you can register your teams as well as receive more information about the tournament. There is even a link at the top of the page for those who have a question concerning the tournament to text that question.

Individuals can also receive information, including team sign up forms and/or hole sponsorship forms, by contacting P.I.O. Watt at 864-638-4199. Tournament sign up forms are also available at Oconee Country Club in Seneca.

Also, any business or organization who would like to donate a door prize can do so as these prizes will be given out to players who participate in this year’s tournament.

The Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc. presents the 2016 Mayberry Open Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, May 5th at Oconee Country Club. Registration begins at 10:30am with a Noon shotgun start. Chick-fil-A of Seneca will be providing lunch and there will be a longest drive and closest to the pin contest as well as a $500 hole in one contest. Dinner will be served after the tournament has concluded.

Statement from Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Regarding Termination of Employee in Relation to Ongoing State and Federal Drug Investigation

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–“The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announces the termination of Detention Officer Joy Hunter today as the result of an ongoing investigation that has occurred outside of Oconee County.”

“The Sheriff’s Office was briefed by law enforcement authorities on this investigation approximately one month ago and its ties to Oconee County. We became an active participant and partnered with the other agencies who are involved to provide our investigative assistance with the case. Our narcotic agents have been working to make sure all of the individuals involved in Oconee County were arrested.”

“Ms. Hunter was arrested earlier today due to arrest warrants out of the state of Georgia as a result of this investigation. She was a Correctional Officer at our Detention Center for 5 years and 9 months. At this time, we do not believe that Ms. Hunter was responsible for the introduction of contraband into our Detention Facility.”

“I continue to maintain high standards of accountability for our employees. Illegal activity has no place in our organization and we worked on this case to assist and ensure the proper evidence was obtained for a successful conviction. I regret not being able to terminate her employment immediately upon learning of her illegal activity. I was advised by state and federal authorities that this could potentially compromise the investigation to which I agreed was the case. This operation as a whole has shut down numerous pipelines that were bringing illegal drugs into our county. The fact that one of our employees in the jail was involved made no difference in our approach.”

“Six arrests have been made in Oconee County, some of which will face criminal charges here as a result of search warrants being executed this morning. All six will have pending charges in the state of Georgia.”

“As of 5pm, all six individuals have waived extradition and are in the process of being transported to the state of Georgia.”

“Due to a federal gag order, all information on this case will come from a representative of the lead investigative agency and the Sheriff’s Office will not be making any further comments until the lead agencies release further information.”

Multi- Million Dollar Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled

(Release courtesy of the Appalachain Regional Drug Enforcement Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation)

Toccoa, Georgia – Two hundred (200) Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Officers are currently in the process of serving 20 search warrants and 27 arrest warrants for members and suppliers of Horace Mayfield’s drug trafficking organization. Over the course of ten months, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), with the cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office and the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, brought down a multifaceted drug trafficking network with tentacles reaching south into Atlanta and north into South Carolina. Multiple criminal charges will be brought against these persons under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Mayfield and his drug trafficking organization have been operating in Stephens County and surrounding communities for many years. Over the course of this investigation, the Mayfield Drug Trafficking Organization can be attributed to 72 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine and 50 pounds of marijuana with a total street value of 9.5 million dollars.
This particular investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization. Those agencies involved include ARDEO consisting of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, and Rabun County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, North Georgia Major Offenders Task Force (NGMOTF), a FBI led Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) consisting of the Cherokee County SO, GBI, Hall County SO, and Forsyth County SO, Conasagua Safe Streets Task Force (CSSTF), a FBI led SSTF consisting of the Calhoun PD, Chatsworth PD, Dalton PD, and Murray County SO, Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Task Force (NWGCETF), a FBI led SSTF, Gwinnett County Police Narcotics Unit, Northeast Georgia Regional DTF, the Oconee County South Carolina Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Unit, and the Anderson South Carolina Sheriff’s Office. Although numerous arrests have been made and evidence seized, the investigation continues and additional arrests are expected.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to Offer Hunter Education Class This Saturday

SCDNR Logo

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will be offering a hunter education class this Saturday in Seneca and there is still time to register.
The class is being offered on the campus of Foothills Community Church, which is located at 505 Bountyland Road, from 8am until 4pm.
Participants must pre-register at www.dnr.sc.gov and click on the hunter education icon for further details.
There is no cost for the class and the class is being offered on a first come, first serve basis. Each student is asked to arrive prior to start time and to bring a pencil or pen.
All children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the class. The minimum age to take the exam and be certified is 10.
All residents and non-residents born after June 30, 1979, need the hunter education endorsement and must complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license in the state. If you were born prior to that date and attempt to acquire a hunting license out-of-state, you’ll find that many states now require you to have a hunter education endorsement. The Hunter Education Program is dedicated to the safe enjoyment of our outdoors. Through this program, students learn about responsibility and ethics in the field, as well as firearms safety.
If you have any questions, you are asked to call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-277-4301.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Arrests Anderson County Woman on Outstanding Grand Larceny Warrant

Johelen Maria Derrick

Johelen Maria Derrick

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson County woman over the weekend on an outstanding Grand Larceny warrant.

41 year old Johelen Maria Derrick of S. Lyons Street was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center Sunday around 8:53am by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division after being transported from the Anderson County Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release on January 19th that Derrick had an outstanding arrest warrant related to a case report that was taken on July 20th, 2015 regarding a stolen dump trailer taken from a construction site on South Port Drive in Seneca sometime between July 17th and July 20th.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division, where it was determined that Derrick, along with 24 year old Justin Brent Kirby of Anderson, had taken the 2015 dual axle dump trailer, with a value of around $5,500.

Kirby was arrested and booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on January 16th of this year on a Grand Larceny warrant related to the case. Kirby posted bond and was released from the Detention Center on January 17th. Kirby’s arrest was announced in the same January 19th press release.

As of 9:45am this morning, Derrick remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Subject Who Barricaded Himself Inside House Earlier Today

Seneca SWAT Activation Picture Two

Seneca SWAT Activation Picture One

David Michael Brown

David Michael Brown

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office responded this morning to a report of a domestic dispute and a subject that had barricaded himself in his residence.

E-911/ Communications received a call for service around 3:00am this morning regarding shots fired at the incident location on S. Stonegate Drive off of Wells Highway near Seneca.

The Sheriff’s Office received word that the male subject reportedly assaulted his wife. The wife was able to escape and contact law enforcement.
She did not sustain serious injuries, according to officers.

Deputies attempted to make contact with the subject but were unsuccessful. Deputies also learned that as many as three children were located inside the residence but no additional shots were fired since the initial incident and no threats were made towards the children.

The Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. was activated around 4:32am this morning and a command post was set up by the Sheriff’s Office near the incident location.

Around 8:30am this morning, the subject in question made contact with a family member and according to the subject; the children inside the home were good condition.

After dialogue began between the subject, family members and Sheriff’s Office negotiators, the subject agreed to surrender.

The subject arrested was 31 year old David Michael Brown. He has been charged with Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature. Brown exited the residence around 10:10am and was placed under arrest without incident and was transported to the Oconee County Detention Center, where he was booked into the Detention Center around 11:32am.

Investigators remained on scene in regards to determining placement for the children.

Additional agencies who responded this morning include Oconee County Emergency Services, Oconee Memorial Hospital, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.