South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association – 2014 New Member Spring Aquisition

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Contact: Chérie L. Avery, SCSA Director of Finance
Phone: (803) 772-1101 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014
Responding to the increasing number of people wanting to assist law enforcement officials and build a stronger partnership in the fight against crime, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw today announced that Oconee County citizens are being invited to become Honorary Members of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.
Membership appeals will go out the week of March 10th to March 25th, 2014. Individuals choosing to join the voluntary program can do so for as little as $25, while businesses can show their support for a $50 contribution. The funding provides critically important technical resources, training and legislative support on key criminal justice issues.
Contributions are tax deductible.
“With government funding becoming increasingly difficult to secure, the membership drive has taken on greater importance than ever before, said Sheriff Crenshaw. “The funding is vital to helping us carry out our mission of making our communities safer places to live, work and play.”
The South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association provides aggressive advocacy using the strong unified voice of our 46 Sheriffs. The Association is a key player in shaping state policy on public safety and crime prevention, as well as providing critical training to Sheriffs’ teams and education to member citizen/businesses.
Individuals that do not receive a membership appeal and would like more information can do so by contacting the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association at: 112 Westpark Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210. Phone:
803-772-1101. Information is also available online,
It is a valuable investment in the future.
(It should be remembered that the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association does not solicit via telemarketing. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be calling on our behalf, know that it is a fraudulent call and hang up.)

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns Parents and Citizens of Potential Dangers of New App

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning parents and residents to be aware of a new app that has potential dangers, especially for children and teens.

The app is called YikYak and it can be downloaded onto any operating system. It gives people ability to express themselves but in an anonymous way. It uses GPS technology to track locations and individuals can connect with others in a chat room and say anything they want.

Based on research into this app, YikYak was launched by college students as a way to post about activities on campus, plus share news and voice complaints. The app does not require people to give their names and they can post anonymously. YikYak was introduced initially at college and university campuses in the southeast, but then spread to other colleges and universities around the country and then down to high and middle schools.

There are some concerns that have arisen due to this app, including individuals using YikYak to call in bomb threats in Massachusetts, Georgia, and California. There have also been cases in schools around the country of cyber bulling. That led to some school districts banning the app and even police investigations being initiated.

In Oconee County, the School District has blocked access to this app through the school’s internet servers, but students can still access YikYak through their own data plans. The terms and conditions of using YikYak strictly prohibit the use of names and phone numbers, but school officials say that those conditions are being broken by students. The School District has issued a letter to parents expressing their concerns about YikYak and advising parents of any potential dangers.

“Our main concern with this app is the potential misuse of this technology by someone making libelous statements under the assumption that they can remain anonymous,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “First, students must understand that nothing is truly anonymous and information can be traced back to the source through the use of GPS technology. Secondly, anyone posting anything libelous against another person can be charged criminally.

An article on a website called states the founders of the website are reportedly taking the step of blocking younger users from using YikYak while on the campuses of schools by using a technique called geo-fences around high and middle schools using GPS technology. This is another example of an internet based application that serves a legitimate purpose being used unethically and in some cases for illegal purposes.

While social media may have the appearance of privacy, many online accounts can reveal more about someone than they intended according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips for social media:

1. Log into all accounts manually. Don’t log into social media through a link in an email. The email could be a hidden way for someone to take over your account and get your personal information.
2. Lock your privacy settings to prevent others from seeing your personal information.
3. Do not allow or use GPS on your telephone or device. You can turn this off in your settings. A potential stalker could utilize this technology to figure out where you live or even identify your current location.
4. Refrain from posting your current location. By telling everyone you are currently in Atlanta Georgia or any other location lets a potential burglar know you are away from home and they can go burglarize and steal your property.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges Two In Ongoing Investigation of Richard Marszalek Homicide

Margaret Frances Morrow

Margaret Frances Morrow

Carrie Leigh Tyner

Carrie Leigh Tyner

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged two individuals with Misprision of a Felony charges for not revealing to deputies information concerning the murder of Richard Marszalek when interviewed about the case.

53 year old Margaret Frances Morrow of 410 West Pine Grove Road in Fair Play and 29 year old Carrie Leigh Tyner of 124 Jos Place in Westminster are accused in warrants of having knowledge of the murder of the 61 year old Marszalek and of acting in a “criminally negligent manner” by not revealing the information they had to law enforcement officers when interviewed by deputies.

According to State vs. Carson case from 1980 (274 S.C. 316 S.E.2d918), the Supreme Court defined Misprision of a Felony as the following: “criminal neglect either to prevent a felony from being committed or to bring the offender to justice after its commission, but without such previous concert with, or subsequent assistance of, him as will make the concealer an accessory before or after the fact.

There are two elements to the offense, which are knowledge and concealment, which says that a person knows that someone has committed a felony and the person conceals or keeps the information that they had and when presented with a reasonable opportunity to do so, failed to provide the facts known by that person to the proper authorities.

According to investigators, when someone has knowledge of a crime and are questioned about that crime and they either give false information about the crime or deceive investigators in any way, then law enforcement can charge them with Misprision of a Felony.

Tyner is already in the Oconee County Detention Center on unrelated charges. Morrow was booked into the Detention Center around 5:16pm yesterday.

During the process of serving the warrant yesterday on the above charges at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and placing her under arrest, Morrow was told to empty her pockets, at which time she began walk around aimlessly as she was upset. She was asked by deputies if she had anything on her and she said no. During a search at the Detention Center upon arrest, a Detention Center officer found a small container with duct tape on top in Morrow’s left sock. Morrow told deputies that they were pain pills for her back and that she had a prescription but could not provide deputies an explanation why they were in a container box stuffed in her socks.

Warrants issued against Morrow charge her with bringing contraband, Percocet and Clonazepam, in the Detention Center.

Tyner has a $10,000 surety bond on the Misprision of a Felony charge. Morrow is yet to have a bond hearing. Both women are still at the Oconee County Detention Center.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Fairfield County Man on Lewd Act with a Minor Charges

Douglas Clifton McFarland

Douglas Clifton McFarland

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man from Fairfield County on Lewd Act with a Minor charges due to an incident that happened around 10 years ago.

78 year old Douglas Clifton McFarland of 837 Kingfisher Drive in Ridgeway, South Carolina was transported to Oconee County yesterday by Sheriff’s Office deputies from Fairfield County where he was being held on charges unrelated to the charges in Oconee County according to investigators. He was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:55pm yesterday. McFarland is still being held at the Detention Center on a $25,000 surety bond.

An investigator with the Sheriff’s Office met with an agent from the State Law Enforcement Division at the Sheriff’s Office on September 13th of last year. At that time, the investigator was informed that due to an ongoing investigation in Fairfield County that allegations of sexual abuse was made and one of the incidents occurred in Oconee County. The victim said during a forensic interview that she was sexually abused by the suspect.

Warrants allege that between June 1st, 2003 and September 8th, 2004 that McFarland inappropriately touched the victim, a female juvenile, who at that time was between six and seven years old. The incident occurred at a location in the Seneca area and involved only one victim.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Invites Citizens to Attend B-25 Crash Monument Dedication

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Press Release Courtesy Of Janice Matheson
Assistant Veterans Affairs Director – Oconee County

(Walhalla)—On the night of March 10, 1943, a B-25 Army Air Corps plane with a crew of five (5) was on a training flight from Meridian, Mississippi to the Donaldson Army Air Base in Greenville. A short time before midnight, the plane crashed into a mountain top, 21 miles north of Walhalla and just a mile south of the Fish Hatchery some 200 yards off Highway 107. All five of the service members died instantly in the crash. The crew members were later identified as Flight Officer Richard Brook, the pilot, from Lima, Ohio; 2nd Lt. Earl Monroe, co-pilot from Bolivar, New York; 2nd Lt. Philip Graziano, navigator, from Lawrence, Massachusetts; Staff Sergeant Harvey Capellman, engineer of Blanchard, Idaho, and Sergeant Michael Sekel, radio operator from Buffalo, New York. According to reports, the plane was reported missing the next morning (March 11th) and an air search was begun along the flight path from Mississippi to Greenville. Eleven (11) days later, on March 21st, a young 15 year old boy named Seab Crane was riding his horse along Moody Trail from the Cheohee Community to visit family friends near the Fish Hatchery when his horse suddenly became “spooked” by an unknown foreign object on the riding trail. The object turned out to be one of the plane’s engines and this is what led to the discovery of the downed plane around 1pm that afternoon. Mr. Jack Lombard, a 16 year old at the time, persuaded his mother later that day to let him go to the crash site. Lombard told Oconee County Veterans Affairs Director Jerry Dyar, “When I got to the site after school that afternoon the bodies of the crewman had not been removed. It was a terrible site to me as a 16 year old. I remember it like it was yesterday”, Lombard said. The longtime local historian from Mountain Rest told Dyar that he and Jimmy Rankin along with a number of other local folks had talked for some time about some kind of “memorial” being placed at the crash site. Finally Lombard and Rankin said, “We decided to contact Jerry Dyar and see if he and his office might be able to help us get this done”. Dyar said he had heard, several times over the years about a military plane crashing up in the mountains but had really never entertained any thought about doing anything about it. “When Mr. Lombard and Mr. Rankin asked me about helping them get that crash site memorialized I wasn’t about to tell them no. For anyone who knows Jack Lombard and Jimmy Rankin, when those guys ask you to help them, you don’t say NO”—Dyar chuckled!! Dyar said he presented the plan to the local ex-military organizations that make up the Oconee County Veterans Council and that group was very eager to help. As a result, the Oconee County Veterans Affairs Office, with the help of Senator Thomas Alexander, got permission from the State Highway Department to place a “Memorial Marker” with the names of the service men who lost their lives along with a picture of the B-25 likeness just across the road from where the plane hit the mountain. The marker will bear the inscription—Oconee County Remembers. Dyar said the “Memorial Marker” will be placed in an area known as the “Burrell’s Place Pull-off”. “It’s a rather large area, receptive to a pretty good sized crowd” said the local VA Director. Dyar added, “We thought March 21st, seventy-one (71) years to the day after the wreckage was found, would be a good time to display and dedicate the site”. “ Therefore, Friday afternoon, March 21st at 2pm Oconee County will officially remember the ultimate sacrifice of those airmen during a brief but memorable dedication ceremony”, said Dyar. “It is also hoped that family members of some of the deceased service men will be here for this special event. And of course, we would like for as many of our Oconee County citizens as possible to turn out”. Again, the memorial site is about one mile this side of the entrance to the Fish Hatchery on Highway 107.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two on Unlawful Neglect of a Child Charges

Bradley Scott Owens

Bradley Scott Owens

Amber Denise Swafford

Amber Denise Swafford

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and charged two Westminster area residents with 2 counts each of unlawful neglect of a child.

23 year old Bradley Scott Owens of 176 Apple Tree Lane and 20 year old Amber Denise Swafford of 131 Chiefs Lane were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center yesterday. Owens was booked in around 2:12pm and Swafford was booked in around 2:21pm. Owens and Swafford are the biological parents of the children who are listed in the warrants.

According to the incident report, an Oconee County Sheriff’s deputy went to the DSS office in Walhalla on March 5th and was notified that two juveniles had tested positive for methamphetamine and both parents of the juveniles had also tested positive for methamphetamine. The case was then turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

According to warrants, Owens is accused of exposing a less than six year old child and a less than one year old child to meth by smoking methamphetamine in the home with the children present. This occurred at the Apple Tree Lane Address, according to warrants. Swafford is accused in warrants of admitting to smoking meth in the residence at the Apple Tree Lane location.

Owens and Swafford were released from the Detention Center yesterday after each received a $40,000 personal recognizance bond.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Arrest in Burglary and Larceny Case

Jamie Lee McAlister

Jamie Lee McAlister

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in a burglary and larceny case that occurred at the end of February.

25 year old Jaime Lee McAlister of 210 Autumn Drive in Pickens was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:54pm last Thursday, March 6th on charges of First Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny. Another individual, John Robert Hendricks of 243 Old Cedar Road in Central has arrest warrant on the same charges. According to investigators, Hendricks is currently in jail in Pickens County on unrelated charges.

Back on Monday, February 27th, a deputy responded to an address on Katelynn Lane near Seneca in regards to a possible burglary and larceny in progress. The complainants stated that they were driving by their property when they saw the fence line that leads to their cell phone tower had been cut. The complainants stated to the deputy that they had problems with individuals stealing items from their property. The complainants turned around and went to pull into the road that leads to the cell phone tower, when they saw a red in color Chevy pickup pulling down the road.

The complainant stated that the driver of the Chevy pickup attempted to use it to push the complainants vehicle out of the way, which according to warrants, occurred multiple times. The complainant got out of his vehicle and asked them to turn the vehicle off, which reportedly they did not do. According to the incident report, the complainant then took the key from the suspects’ vehicle and then the two suspects got out of their vehicle and left the scene walking up the highway on foot. The complainant said the suspects were both white males and looked to be in their 20’s.

According to the incident report, the suspects’ vehicle came back to a resident of Walhalla and a 1993 Chevy S-10 but the tag on the Chevy truck did not match, as the tag on the Chevy pickup came back to a resident of Pickens and came back registered to a Dodge Ram. The vehicle itself was towed.

Upon further investigation of the property, the deputy found a trailer and sheds that had been broken into and property taken. According to warrants, McAlister is accused of taking away two air conditioning units, 2 Kilns, a box of nails and washers and a chainsaw valued at $900. Hendricks is accused in the theft of the air conditioning units, plus some sinks and mirrors as well.

McAlister is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center. His total surety bond on the two charges is $52,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Two During Recent Traffic Stop

Donald Wayne Leroy

Donald Wayne Leroy

Ret Allen Brink

Ret Allen Brink

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested two individuals on a variety of charges, including drug charges, on a recent traffic stop during routine road patrol operations.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s deputy was traveling north of Highway 59 back on March 5th when he was notified by another deputy that a black SUV was headed his way and the driver was suspected of not having a driver’s license and possible illegal drug activity.

The deputy got behind in the vehicle and then initiated a traffic stop at the corner of Feltman Road at Highway 59after the SUV rolled through a stop sign at the same intersection.

The driver of the SUV was identified by the deputy as Ret Allen Brink and the passenger, according to the incident report, told the deputy that he did not have any identification and gave the officer what later turned out to be a false name.

The driver of the SUV, Mr. Brink, notified the deputy that he did not have a driver’s license, which was confirmed through dispatch. Mr. Brink was placed under arrest at that point for driving without a South Carolina driver’s license and was also cited for disregarding a stop sign. Earlier, the deputy was notified by another deputy that the SUV had pulled into a driveway off of Feltman Road, where a witness told that deputy that the vehicle had pulled into the driveway, where the subjects had popped the hood and started messing around under the hood.

As the deputy did an inventory of the vehicle as a result of the arrest, a check under the hood revealed a crumpled cigarette box, which contained what appeared to the deputy to be methamphetamine. Both subjects denied ownership of the package.

The deputy then asked dispatch to send a picture of the Leroy subject. The picture dispatch sent matched a description of an individual named Donald Wayne Leroy, who was the subject that gave the deputy a false name earlier in the stop. The deputy was able to find some identification for the Leroy subject and Leroy was placed under arrest for giving false information to a police officer. Due to the proximity of the meth to both subjects, both Brink and Leroy were charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Leroy was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:59pm last Wednesday, March 5th and Brink was booked into the Detention Center around 8:39pm the same day.

Both Brink and Leroy were released from the Oconee County Detention Center yesterday. Brink, 52 years old, of 252 Oak Creek Road in Seneca, had a $10,000 surety bond on the possession charge, as well as two personal recognizance bonds for the charges of not having a South Carolina driver’s license and for disregarding the stop sign. Leroy, 47 years old, of 350 Steer Run Road in Seneca, also had a $10,000 surety bond on the possession charge, as well as a separate personal recognizance bond on the providing false information to a police officer charge.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help Regarding Larceny of Heating and Air Units in Seneca

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding the grand larceny of five heating and air units that were taken from New Haven Medical Services at 107 Nelson Lane in Seneca, which is the location of the old Gold’s Gym.

The offices of the owners of New Haven Medical are located at 115 Eagle’s Nest Drive.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified by the complainant on Friday, March 7th after an insurance adjuster notified the complainant that a report needed to be on file. An Oconee County Sheriff’s Office investigator was assigned the case today.

Back on Monday, January 27th the complainant received a call regarding a vandalism of the New Haven Medical Services building and had notified the Seneca Police Department regarding the vandalism. The complainant was advised to contact the insurance company.

The total value of the five heating and air conditioning units that were reportedly taken is around $30,000.

Anyone with any information regarding this case should 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 you tip leads directly to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes One Arrest for Illegal Moonshine

Colby Edward Watts

Colby Edward Watts

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Westminster man on charges of having illegal liquor still.

21 year old Colby Edward Watts of 115 Watts Trail Drive in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:56am this morning. He turned himself in to law enforcement authorities. Watts has been charged with possession of a distillery for the purpose of manufacturing alcoholic liquors and possession of materials used in the manufacture of alcoholic liquors. Watts has been released on a total $1,200 personal recognizance bond after appearing before a magistrate this morning. Watts has a court hearing in General Sessions court scheduled for April 11th.

According to deputies, narcotics agents from the Sheriff’s Office received information from an officer of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources of a moonshine still in plain view at the Watts Trail Drive location as that agent was investigating a complaint unrelated to the discovery of the still. This occurred around 4pm Wednesday. The DNR officer stated that a large portion of the still was outside of a storage building door with several mason jars which were filled with a clear liquid sitting next to a 55 gallon drum.

Once the narcotics agents arrived on the scene, they received consent to search the premises from Watts father, where they uncovered the remaining part of the still inside the storage building under a 55 gallon drum. Watts arrived on the scene a little while later where he admitted that the still was his and he had been making moonshine for the past two years to drink but he was told it was not illegal to make.

According to the incident report, Watts was advised by deputies that it was unlawful to manufacture, sell, give, or have in his possession a distillery or any part of a distillery or apparatus used for the purpose of manufacturing alcoholic liquors. When asked by deputies if there were any other stills, ingredients and/or product anywhere else on the premises, Watts stated that he had a couple more gallons of moonshine inside the other portion of the garage.

“He has been cooperative with law enforcement during this investigation,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “While the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents main focus has been to concentrate on other illegal drugs such as methamphetamine, they will continue to address illegal alcohol complaints when they are received.”

Watts then took deputies to the detached garage where multiple assorted Ball Mason jars containing moonshine were stored, and agents observed assorted ingredients that are used in the making of moonshine as well as plastic tubs containing a large amount of mash.

According to the incident report, agents took the following items from the property due to the previous consent to search: one still, assorted ingredients, two half gallon Ball Mason jars containing moonshine, 19 quart Ball Mason jars containing moonshine, two pieces of copper tubing, 1 hydrometer, and one bucket containing corn.

Deputies value the amount of moonshine seized at around $1,000.