Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Three Additional Arrests in Seventh “Operation Infinity” Drug Sweep

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announces three additional arrests today in the seventh “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up that began Thursday morning, September 25th.

The Sheriff’s Office began the operation that day with a meeting at the Law Enforcement Center at 8:30am with a briefing that also included officers from the Seneca, Walhalla and Westminster Police Departments.

In all, 19 individuals were being sought on a variety of drug distribution charges that stretched from methamphetamine to marijuana to crack to cocaine to heroin to prescription drugs. As part of this phase of “Operation Infinity,” four individuals were being sought on warrants on charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

The three additional arrests occurred between midnight Thursday, October 2nd and midnight Sunday, October 12th. In all, 21 have been arrested so far and the Sheriff’s Office is seeking 2 more. Here are the names of the three individuals arrested and their charges according to warrants:

1) Crystal Nicole Boykin
210 Rainbows End Drive
Walhalla, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on 10/3/2014 at 7:52pm

2) Lindsay Rebecca Eades
3063 Safety Harbor Road
West Union, SC
21 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on 10/11/2014 around 10:48pm

3) Tonya Lee Trammell
210 Trammell Drive
Seneca, SC
25 years old
Unlawful Neglect of a Child (1 count)
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on 10/12/14 around 3:57pm

In an additional note, Eades arrest on Saturday evening during a routine traffic stop led to additional charges being filed, including Possession of Methamphetamine, Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer, and Simple Possession of Marijuana. Eades also had a second outstanding warrant for Distribution of Methamphetamine that was separate from the first one.

The following is a list of the individuals still being sought by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in this “Operation Infinity” drug roundup:

1) James Elwood Shifflett
162 Connor Boulevard
Fair Play, SC
49 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (2 counts)

2) Larry Allen Ford
514 Fernwood Drive
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Trafficking in Cocaine (1 count)
Trafficking in Crack Cocaine (1 count)
Possession of a Controlled Substance (MDMA)
Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (1 count)

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol Captain Jeff Underwood Comments in Magazine Article

Captain Jeff Underwood

Captain Jeff Underwood

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————Jeff Underwood, Captain of the Road Patrol Division of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, was one of several officers from around the country featured in a recent article in Police Magazine concerning law enforcement officers requesting or not requesting the need for back-up.

The article, written by Dean Scoville, was titled “Alone Against All Odds,” which was published on June 24th. The article dealt with the reluctance sometimes for officers to request back-up in certain situations due to a fear of being ridiculed by other officers or thinking in their mind that they may be considered not tough enough.

The article mentioned the passing of Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputy Bill Schuck, who died in February of 2010 after trying to free his car that was stuck in the mud after turning down a dirt road looking for a suicidal male. Schuck called his wife to report the situation but said he was too embarrassed to ask for assistance.

After dispatch did not hear from Schuck for hours, a secondary search was initiated in which Schuck was found dead pinned against a tree behind the front part of his vehicle as it rolled forward while Schuck tried free it. The 26 year old deputy left behind a wife and unborn child.

According to Captain Underwood, Scoville normally writes an article called “Officer Down,” which focuses on officer shootings, for example. But after speaking with Underwood and discussing the circumstances of the death of Deputy Schuck, Underwood said the focus of Scoville’s article changed.

“He (Scoville) liked the thought of doing a different type of article related to officers having to do a lot of things by themselves,” according to Underwood. “He went ahead and got several more stories similar to it.”

After the incident, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office made changes in protocol in regards to dispatch doing roll calls on deputies, especially those on night shift, and improvements in GPS capabilities. In fact, dispatchers routinely check on officers who are out on calls. Underwood says these protocols were enacted after Deputy Schuck’s death to try to make sure that a similar incident did not happen for officer accountability and safety.

“With the digital radio’s being implemented, they can be GPS pinged if the need arises to get the officer’s whereabouts,” according to Underwood. “Night shift starting at midnight does a roll call every hour on the hour checking to see if all the officers are okay. If an officer does not speak up, then they (officers and dispatchers) immediately begin calling cell phones and start looking for them.”

“The message that has been communicated throughout ever since then is ‘when in doubt, get someone to help you out,’” says Underwood. “We don’t want them to ever be afraid to ask for help.”

There are times, according to Underwood, where officers may have to go it alone, such as during active shooter situations, where a single officer may have to face multiple armed suspects.

“You have to assess every situation and we are asking officers as reasonably as possible not to take any unnecessary risks by themselves,” says Underwood.

Captain Underwood makes it a point to remind those road patrol deputies that he supervises that he has to ask for help from his supervisors as well and if they are ever in a situation where there is a possibility that something could go wrong, then don’t be afraid to ask for help because those officers who do will not be ridiculed. Underwood also believes that more emphasis being placed on seeking help on other officers has them thinking ahead more as they approach calls and helps in prepositioning officers to respond.

All 33 road patrol officers with the Sheriff’s Office are now wearing the TASER AXON Flex system cameras and Captain Underwood believes that having another “set of eyes” may contribute to officers asking for help more often.

“I think it would actually increase the likelihood of them asking for help,” says Underwood. “It brings about a little bit different situational awareness that they did not have before. They start thinking about the situation a little differently.”

The article can be read online by clicking on the following link: http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2014/06/alone-against-all-odds.aspx#.VCR7hho7XWc.email

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Vandalism of Walhalla Area Church

Poplar Springs Church Photo

Poplar Springs Church Picture #2

Poplar Springs Photo #3

Poplar Springs Photo #4

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a vandalism that occurred to a Walhalla area church.

A deputy responded this morning to Poplar Springs Baptist Church at 500 Poplar Springs Road and spoke with the pastor of the church who advised the deputy that when he arrived at the church this morning that he noticed several things out of place, including cones across the street that had been knocked over and one placed on top of a headstone in the cemetery across the road.

The pastor also noticed a cinderblock that had been thrown through a window of a church. A check by the deputy revealed no further damage and nothing was discovered missing. A check with dispatch revealed no suspicious activity during the night shift Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

According to deputies, the damage probably occurred during the time frame between 1pm Tuesday and 10am on Wednesday.

If you have any information on this vandalism at Poplar Springs Baptist Church at the intersection of Poplar Springs Road and Dickard Road, please 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 to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Charges Salem Husband and Wife on Unlawful Neglect of a Child Charges

Rachel Marie Sellers

Rachel Marie Sellers

William Joel Sellers

William Joel Sellers

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Salem husband and wife on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges in relation to a positive drug test of their 8 year old child.

32 year old William Joel Sellers was served his warrant yesterday at the Oconee County Detention Center. Sellers was arrested on September 10th on unrelated charges and was still in custody.

37 year old Rachel Marie Sellers was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:07pm yesterday after being arrested by the warrants division of the Sheriff’s Office.

The couple’s previous address was 165 Whitewater Falls Road.

Deputies were alerted on October 6th by the Department of Social Services that the couple’s 8 year old child had tested positive for Amphetamine and Methamphetamine. The test on the child was conducted on September 16th.

According to warrants, both parents tested positive for the same drugs on September 8th. Warrants also state that the incident in question occurred at the Whitewater Falls Road address sometime between June 16th and September 16th.

The child has been placed with family members.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on CDV, Assault and Battery Charges

Scott Michael Mono

Scott Michael Mono

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man Monday morning on charges of Criminal Domestic Violence and Assault and Battery.

34 year old Scott Michael Mono of 122 Hillside Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:57am.

Warrants charge Mono with Criminal Domestic Violence – 1st Degree in regards to an incident that occurred Monday morning at the Hillside Lane address in which the victim was bit on her right shoulder and hit in the head with a metal broom handle. Mono and the victim live at the Hillside Lane location.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Mono had assaulted a five year old female child on Sunday at the Hillside Lane location by kicking the child in the face and causing her nose to bleed. The victim is the mother of the five year old, but Mono is not the biological father, according to deputies. Mono was charged in warrants with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature.

Deputies contacted DSS and the five year old female child as well as another child, a 3 year old male child who also lives at the Hillside Lane location, was placed into emergency protective custody. Mono is the biological father of the 3 year old male but the victim is not the biological mother.

The investigation began with a call by the victim around 6:15am Monday due to a disturbance at the Hillside Lane location concerning the assault and threats made by Mono against the victim and the 5 year old minor female.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man Wanted in Weekend Utica Mill Hill Shooting

Travis Javon Lee

Travis Javon Lee

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man Monday afternoon who was wanted for a weekend shooting on the Utica Mill Hill near Seneca.

20 year old Travis Javon Lee of 701 Robin Drive turned himself in at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center around 4pm.

A deputy responded to an address on Jameson Avenue just before 5:30am Saturday morning in regards to a male discharging a firearm into a residence. The complainant at the residence told the deputy that an individual was knocking at a door to the residence. The complainant did not open the door but a male with a goatee outside was asking for help. Another resident of the house came to the door and told the man to leave.

At that point, the male who was knocking at the door walked down the stairs of the residence and began discharging several rounds from a firearm into the house. The man also damaged three vehicles in the yard by smashing out a window in each of those vehicles and shooting through the door of one of them.

The deputy was told by the homeowners that they did not know the man but they recognized him from an accident they saw down from their house and that he was driving a Pontiac at the time of the accident. A call to the Highway Patrol revealed that a Travis Javon Lee was involved in the accident. Lee was positively identified as being the shooter who fired the rounds into the house.

No injuries were reported in the incident. Besides two adults, there were two minor children inside the residence, one age seven and the other age five.

Warrants were obtained Saturday against Lee charging him with Discharging a Firearm into a Dwelling. Additional warrants obtained by investigators Sunday charge Lee with four counts of Attempted Murder, three counts of Malicious Injury to Personal Property and one count of Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Stephanie Ann Cody

Stephanie Ann Cody

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster woman Friday morning on charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

34 year old Stephanie Ann Cody of 289 Jenkins Bridge Road in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:00am.

An arrest warrant charges Cody with providing two male minor children, ages 13 and 15, with marijuana as well as smoking marijuana with the two minors, who are also members of Cody’s family.

A deputy spoke with the mother of the two minors at the Sheriff’s Office on September 27th. The mother told deputies that she questioned her youngest son after receiving word about the incident, to which the child confirmed that the information was correct.

As the investigation continued, warrants were obtained against Cody on October 2nd.

Cody was released from the Oconee County Detention Center on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond on October 3rd.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Weekend Shooting Incident on the Utica Mill Hill

Travis Javon Lee

Travis Javon Lee

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a weekend shooting incident on the Utica Mill Hill in Seneca in which a suspect is facing multiple charges.

A deputy responded to an address on Jameson Avenue just before 5:30am Saturday morning in regards to a male discharging a firearm into a residence. The complainant at the residence told the deputy that an individual was knocking at a door to the residence. The complainant did not open the door but a male with a goatee outside was asking for help. Another resident of the house came to the door and told the man to leave.

At that point, the male who was knocking at the door walked down the stairs of the residence and began discharging several rounds from a firearm into the house. The man also damaged three vehicles in the yard by smashing out a window in each of those vehicles and shooting through the door of one of them.

The deputy was told by the homeowners that they did not know the man but they recognized him from an accident they saw down from their house and that he was driving a Pontiac at the time of the accident. A call to the Highway Patrol revealed that a Travis Javon Lee was involved in the accident. Lee was positively identified as being the shooter who fired the rounds into the house.

No injuries were reported in the incident. Besides two adults, there were two minor children inside the residence, one age seven and the other age five.

Warrants were obtained Saturday against Lee, 20 years old of 701 Robin Drive in Seneca, charging him with Discharging a Firearm into a Dwelling. Additional warrants obtained by investigators Sunday charge Lee with four counts of Attempted Murder, three counts of Malicious Injury to Personal Property and one count of Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Travis Javon Lee, 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 Seeks Public’s Help in Separate Seneca Grand Larceny, Burglary Cases

(This picture is not of the Skid Steer the Sheriff's Office is looking for but is similar to the one pictured here)

(This picture is not of the Skid Steer the Sheriff’s Office is looking for but is similar to the one pictured here)

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a Burglary case and a Grand Larceny case that occurred at separate addresses on Keowee Trail in Seneca during the month of September. These cases are two separate cases, according to investigators.

A deputy responded on September 5th to 550 Keowee Trail around 5pm in regards to a burglary that had already occurred. The complainant told the deputy that they left for work earlier in the day. The complainant returned home to find a television set had been taken.

Further investigation revealed that about $300 in change had been taken. Investigators believe that the suspect(s) broke in through a window at the residence and left through the front door

Then on September 17th, a deputy took a report of a reported larceny that took place at 536 Keowee Trail in which a red Toro 322 Dingo, which is a skid steer loader, valued at $12,000 and a Stihl Pole Cutting Saw valued at $800.00 were reportedly stolen. It appears that someone made entry through the front gate to gain access. The last time the equipment was seen was the previous evening, September 16th and was first discovered missing around noon on September 17th.

If you have any information on this case, 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 Additional Arrests in Seventh “Operation Infinity” Drug Round-Up

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announces three additional arrests today in the seventh “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up that began Thursday morning, September 25th.

The Sheriff’s Office began the operation that day with a meeting at the Law Enforcement Center at 8:30am with a briefing that also included officers from the Seneca, Walhalla and Westminster Police Departments.

In all, 19 individuals were being sought on a variety of drug distribution charges that stretched from methamphetamine to marijuana to crack to cocaine to heroin to prescription drugs. As part of this phase of “Operation Infinity,” four individuals were being sought on warrants on charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

The three additional arrests occurred between midnight Monday night midnight last night. In all, 18 have been arrested so far and the Sheriff’s Office is seeking 5 more. Here are the names of the three individuals arrested and their charges according to warrants:

1) Bobby Allen Whitfield
100 Walhalla Gardens Circle, Apt. 35
Walhalla, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Marijuana (1 count)

2) Richard Wayne Hendricks
113 Michelle Lane
Seneca, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)

3) Dechane Foster Earle
316 Thompson Street
Pendleton, SC
23 years old
Distribution of Heroin (1 count)

The following is a list of the individuals still being sought by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in this “Operation Infinity” drug roundup.

1) Lyndsay Rebecca Eades
3063 Safety Harbor Road
West Union, SC
21 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)

2) James Elwood Shifflett
162 Connor Boulevard
Fair Play, SC
49 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (2 counts)

3) Crystal Nicole Boykin
210 Rainbows End Drive
Walhalla, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)

4) Tonya Lee Trammell
210 Trammell Drive
Seneca, SC
25 years old
Unlawful Neglect of a Child (1 count)

5) Larry Allen Ford
514 Fernwood Drive
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Trafficking in Cocaine (1 count)
Trafficking in Crack Cocaine (1 count)
Possession of a Controlled Substance (MDMA)
Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (1 count)