Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Begins Spring Litter Pickup Campaign

Inmate Litter Pickip - Four

Inmate Litter Pickup - Five

Inmate Litter Pickup - One

Inmate Litter Pickup - Three

Inmate Litter Pickup - Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————On a sunny and warm late winter day in the Golden Corner, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has begun its Spring Litter Pickup Campaign.

Inmates from the Oconee County Detention Center, under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office Environmental Services Officer, Corporal Tim Rice, picked up trash along portions of Highway 11 south between Mountain Road and Highway 123 as well as near Camp Road outside of Walhalla near the Five Forks community on Tuesday.

“We bring these inmates out and let them collect the trash and debris along the highway throughout the county,” says Corporal Rice. “We will be out a few times a week throughout the spring, summer and fall months.”

Corporal Rice pointed out that the areas where the inmate detail was today were areas that the Sheriff’s Office has received the most complaints about and that they would be making their way to other areas in which there are litter problems in the days and weeks to come.

During Tuesday’s pickup, Rice estimates that along Highway 11 that inmates collected around 20 to 25 bags of trash as of around 2:15pm. The area near Camp Road was littered, according to Rice, with old televisions, mattresses and carpeting. According to Rice, a truck from Solid Waste was needed to remove all the items that were picked up that had accumulated in that portion of the Five Forks area.

“It seems in the spring months that people start to get out and do more activities and the highways seems to have more litter and we get more complaints” continues Corporal Rice. “Also in the kickoff to spring, there is The Great American Cleanup through Keep America Beautiful along with Palmetto Pride’s ‘Zero Tolerance For Litter’ campaign next month so to coincide with those events we get out and try to get our highways and roads as clean as possible ahead of those events so we can see from year to year what progress is being made.”

Corporal Rice also points out that fines and penalties for littering in Oconee County are up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,092.50 if convicted. Also, motorists need to use caution when traveling around in areas where litter pickup is going and to be aware of officers and trustees who will be working to pick up litter.

“South Carolina state law says that if you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the highway with its emergency lights on, if possible, you are required to move over if you are traveling on a four lane highway or if not, you are required to slow down,” says Rice. “Working on the side of the highway can be very dangerous place to be and we ask that motorists keep us in mind while they are traveling.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Man on Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Kevin Carl Mueller

Kevin Carl Mueller

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man earlier this morning on Criminal Domestic Violence – High and Aggravated charges after responding to reports of a disturbance.

42 year old Kevin Carl Mueller, who resides at an address on L Pelfrey Road, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:47am.

While deputies were enroute to the L Pelfrey Road address around 3:45am, where the incident occurred, the officers were informed that the suspect had a firearm and discharged the weapon inside the residence. Deputies met the victim, Mueller’s wife, at a separate location after leaving the residence with her children.

During the course of the investigation, officer learned that there had been a verbal altercation between Mueller and his wife. Mueller left the residence but returned, got into a verbal altercation again with his wife, then entered a bedroom in the house and later on, discharged a firearm while inside the house. Deputies secured the firearm while at the residence speaking with Mueller after receiving permission to do so and placed it into evidence.

Mueller was arrested and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center where he was booked into the jail on Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained toady. In the arrest warrant, Mueller is accused of firing a shot from a handgun toward the victim through a wall during an altercation at their residence.

2015 Crime Stoppers of Oconee County Golf Tournament About Six Weeks Away

Sheriff's Badge

Crimestoppers Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Crime Stoppers of Oconee County Golf Tournament is a little more than six weeks away and there is still time for those interested to get involved.

“So far, we have had teams and hole sponsors who have signed up and are partnering with us already and we are extremely thankful for their support,” says Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the Coordinator of Crime Stoppers of Oconee County. “If you have been thinking about fielding a team or becoming a hole sponsor, we still have time and plenty of room for you to get involved as well.”

Since its inception in 1996 thru June of 2014, Crime Stoppers has helped law enforcement recover almost $111,000 in property and helped officers seize almost $11,000 in narcotics.

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.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents to Use Caution Answering Their Doors to Strangers

Justin Matthew Richey

Justin Matthew Richey

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents today to use caution when answering the doors to their residences when strangers come to their homes after a man was charged in a February incident.

“We received a report of an incident where an individual came to a citizen’s home and items were taken,” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. “While residents of Oconee County have always been hospitable and have always lent a helping hand to stranger and neighbor alike, we are issuing this press release to provide our citizens some information on danger signs to look for and how to protect themselves and their property.”

A deputy with the Uniformed Patrol Division was contacted by phone by a person who resides at an address on Dr. John’s Road near Westminster who told the deputy that someone broke into the residence and stole some items back in the middle of February. The individual in question, later identified as a result of the investigation to be 27 year old Justin Matthew Richey, came to the residence to inquire about a lawn mower for sale as well as items that were located elsewhere on the property.

While continuing their discussion, the homeowner let Richey into the residence concerning a TV that the homeowner wanted to get rid of. While inside the residence, the homeowner agreed to let Richey use the restroom facilities. Richey later gave the homeowner a false name and telephone number. After arriving back at the residence later on after leaving, the homeowner noticed a window that had been tampered with and later discovered items missing in the home.

Richey was charged with First Degree Burglary and Grand Larceny in the case. Richey is accused in warrants of entering the home and stealing a handgun and antique jewelry. Richey resides at a residence on N. Pond Street in Toccoa, Georgia, according to warrants.

“We recommend that if a stranger knocks on your door and you are not comfortable with answering the door, and then don’t go to the door at all,” says P.I.O. Watt. “If you do decide to go the door, peak out of the window to see who it is and also don’t open the door all the way. Answer through the screen door or leave the chain to the door attached.”

“Also, if someone asks to come in, as a homeowner, you have the right not to say no,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “This is especially important to remember if multiple people are asking to come in. If someone says they need help, tell them you will call 911 or law enforcement authorities for them.”

“Finally, if you have an item for sale that is placed alongside the road, don’t offer those items for sale unless you know that more than one person is going to be at the home at that time,” says P.I.O. Watt.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Greenwood Man on Accessory Charges Regarding Seneca Homicide Investigation

Reginald Tywan Bland

Reginald Tywan Bland

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Greenwood man today on charges related to the investigation into the early Sunday morning homicide at Sonny’s Bar and Grill in Seneca.

34 year old Reginald Tywan Bland, who resides at an address on Joe Louis Road according to a warrant, was arrested in Greenwood County last night and was picked up this afternoon and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center by a deputy from the Warrants Division. He was booked into the Detention Center around 1:00pm.

According to warrants, Bland rendered assistance to the suspect in the murder, 30 year old Dw’Ntraquis Rashaad Campbell of 119 Oak Hill Street in Greenwood, after the homicide occurred. Warrants were obtained against Bland yesterday as part of the Sheriff’s Office investigation into the case.

The Sheriff’s Office is still seeking Campbell of five separate charges, including murder in the shooting death of Anthony Letron Holden of Seneca. Campbell has also been charged with three counts of Attempted Murder in the shooting of three other individuals and Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime. Warrants and information on Campbell have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database.

According to investigators, Campbell also goes by the alias’ “Rah-Rah” or Rashaad or
“Shaad.”

The warrants against Campbell were obtained on March 9th.

Investigators have been examining evidence and following up on leads in the case since Sunday and have been working with outside agencies, including the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenwood Police Department, in trying to apprehend Campbell.

Campbell has a history of violent crime, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and has outstanding warrants from Greenwood County, SC and Columbus, Georgia, according to investigators. Campbell reportedly also has ties in Anderson County, SC as well.

Deputies with the Uniformed Patrol Division were dispatched to Sonny’s Bar and Grill at the intersection of Wells Highway and Shiloh Road around 12:30am Sunday morning to reports of an active fight of a large crowd. As deputies were enroute, dispatchers received reports of shots fired and individuals wounded. After deputies secured the scene, the investigation began and evidence was collected.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Dw’Ntraquis Rashaad Campbell, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. All tips received through Crime Stoppers are anonymous and confidential and if your tip to Crime Stoppers leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

You can also relay your information in this case directly to an investigator with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office by calling 864-718-1052.

Campbell is considered armed and dangerous, according to investigators. If you locate Campbell, don’t approach him and contact your local law enforcement agency.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Requests Contact by Former Westpoint Stevens Employees Regarding Possible Fraud

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is requesting that any former Westpoint Stevens’ employees from the Seneca plant check their credit reports and report any fraudulent activity to the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators are working a case of Identity Theft and have discovered that there is a possibility that personnel files from the West Point Stevens plant in Seneca may have been stolen and used to open fraudulent accounts.

Investigators are asking those individuals to get a free credit report by going to annualcreditreport.com and requesting a copy from one of the credit reporting agencies.

After doing so, if you are the victim of fraud, you are asked to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office dispatch and file a report (864-638-4111).

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Greenwood Man on Murder Charges in Weekend Shooting at Sonny’s Bar and Grill

Dw'ntraquis Rashaad Campbell

Dw’ntraquis Rashaad Campbell

Campbell -Homicide Suspect

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking a Greenwood man on multiple charges, including murder, in regards to the weekend homicide at Sonny’s Bar and Grill in Seneca.

30 year old Dw’Ntraquis Rashaad Campbell of 119 Oak Hill Street has been charged by the Sheriff’s Office with murder in the shooting death of Anthony Letron Holden of Seneca. Campbell has also been charged with three counts of Attempted Murder in the shooting of three other individuals and Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime. Warrants and information on Campbell have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database.

According to investigators, Campbell also goes by the alias’ “Rah-Rah” or Rashaad or
“Shaad.”

The warrants against Campbell were obtained on March 9th.

Investigators have been examining evidence and following up on leads in the case since Sunday and have been working with outside agencies, including the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenwood Police Department, in trying to apprehend Campbell.

Campbell has a history of violent crime, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and has outstanding warrants from Greenwood County, SC and Columbus, Georgia, according to investigators. Campbell reportedly also has ties in Anderson County, SC as well.

Deputies with the Uniformed Patrol Division were dispatched to Sonny’s Bar and Grill at the intersection of Wells Highway and Shiloh Road around 12:30am Sunday morning to reports of an active fight of a large crowd. As deputies were enroute, dispatchers received reports of shots fired and individuals wounded. After deputies secured the scene, the investigation began and evidence was collected.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Dw’Ntraquis Rashaad Campbell, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. All tips received through Crime Stoppers are anonymous and confidential and if your tip to Crime Stoppers leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

You can also relay your information in this case directly to an investigator with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office by calling 864-718-1052.

“The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing this active and ongoing investigation and additional charges and warrants are pending in this case,” says Captain Greg Reed of the Criminal Investigations Division. “The Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing any further information on this case at this time.”

Campbell is considered armed and dangerous, according to investigators. If you locate Campbell, don’t approach him and contact your local law enforcement agency.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns Citizens to be Aware of Scam

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————Yesterday, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a management employee of the Journal newspaper concerning a possible scam. The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind our citizens to avoid this scam and ones like it.

The deputy was informed that an individual was attempting to place an ad concerning a motorcycle which would be given away free with a stipulation that the person receiving the motorcycle would pay shipping costs. According to the employee, the individual giving away the motorcycle had tried in November of 2014 and March of 2015 to post the ad which the Journal did not publish.

After an exchange of e-mail, the individual sent the Journal what appeared to be a false driver’s license from the state of Florida. When dispatch ran the license information, there was no record of the license.

“We are warning our citizens not to be taken in by this same or any like it,” according to Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. “We are thankful for the Seneca Daily Journal sharing this information with us so we can put this alert out. Always remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, then more than likely it is.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Anthony Eugene Manley

Anthony Eugene Manley

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man late last night on Criminal Domestic Violence – 2nd offense charges.

44 year old Anthony Eugene Manley, who resides at an address on Clinkscale Road, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center just before midnight.

A deputy with the Uniformed Patrol Division was dispatched to Clinkscale Road and when the officer arrived, he located the victim and Manley walking along the road. The victim, Manley’s wife, told the deputy that she had been assaulted by Manley.

The deputy observed that Manley appeared to be grossly intoxicated. The deputy observed physical injuries on the victim and arrested Manley on charges of Public Disorderly Conduct and Manley was placed on a Temporary Custody Order until a warrant was obtained this afternoon.

The warrant states that Manley has prior conviction for Criminal Domestic Violence. The incident reportedly occurred at the Clinkscale Road address.

Manley is still being held at the Detention Center on a combined $10,262.50 surety bond. A condition of bond is the requirement that Manley wear an electronic monitoring device, according to the Detention Center.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two on Drug Charges Monday Morning

Logan Marie Kokoszka

Logan Marie Kokoszka

William Erskine Hall III

William Erskine Hall III

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man and a woman Monday morning on drug related charges.

30 year old Logan Marie Kokoszka, who resides at an address on Crooked Creek Drive in Seneca, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:54am. Also arrested was 50 year old William Erskine Hall, III. According to jail records, Hall resides at an address on Honey Creek Drive in Anderson while warrants list Hall’s address in North, SC.

A deputy with the Uniformed Patrol Division responded to the area of Ebenezer Road and Crooked Creek Road around 1:20am in regards to a report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival in the area, the deputy observed a green BMW that was just off the roadway with its lights on and two occupants inside.

Kokoszka was on the passenger side and proceeded to exit the vehicle and was observed to be nervous as she explained to the deputy about what was going on. Hall, who was on the driver side, was also acting nervous as well, according to the deputy.

After checking both subjects’ information, Hall was notified that he had a possible active warrant from another county. After being given permission by Hall to search his vehicle and person, deputies did not find any contraband on his person, but, deputies did find prescription medication in the center console. Additional prescription medication was found in the vehicle as well. Neither party could produce a prescription for the pills found inside.

Both subjects were placed under arrest and transferred to the Detention Center. An additional search of Hall at the Detention Center revealed the presence of methamphetamine on Hall’s person.

Warrants obtained Monday charge Kokoszka with Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Warrants obtained against Hall Monday charge him with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Contraband into a Detention Facility.