Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Man on Two Charges

Billy Joe Singleton

Billy Joe Singleton

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man yesterday on two charges, one of those being a drug trafficking charge.

40 year old Billy Joe Singleton of 121 Clearcut Drive in Salem was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:31am Tuesday morning after turning himself in at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla.

Singleton had two outstanding warrants. The drug trafficking warrant charges Singleton with distributing between 10 and 28 grams of methamphetamine at the Clearcut Drive address to an undercover agent working at the direction of the Sheriff’s Office between April 18th and April 30th of this year.

The second warrant charges Singleton with removing and falsifying a vehicle identification number on a 2001 Chevrolet Pickup Truck with the intent to conceal the identity of the truck. The warrant indicates that this occurred at the Clearcut Drive address sometime between January 1st and February 5th of this year.

As of last this morning, Singleton was being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a total surety bond amount of $29,710.

Spots Remain Open for the first “Citizens Police Academy” and for Church Safety Meetings

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind our residents that spots remain open for the first ever “Citizens Police Academy” and for churches to schedule a church safety meeting on their campuses.

While churches in Oconee County have not seen many of the problems that other churches around the country have dealt with, Sgt. Mike McGowan of the Sheriff’s Office feels that preparation beforehand is the best way to deal with any future problems that may arise.

“We used to say that certain things that happened in other places can’t happen here,” says Sgt. McGowan, who provides information and meets with local area churches to coordinate church safety meetings. “However, society has changed and churches need to understand the importance of being prepared before an event could happen. We are not trying to create panic but we are partnering with our area churches to keep everyone safe so they can enjoy their worship experience.”

Sgt. McGowan has held several church safety meetings with Oconee County churches to make them aware of certain issues that may arise, from how to protect church property to preventing break-ins and thefts to answering questions regarding the rights of Concealed Weapon Permit holders to carry firearms in churches to how to handle individuals who enter churches with the sole purpose of interrupting worship services..

“When most people think of church safety, the first thing that comes to mind is regarding church shootings and how to prevent them,” continues Sgt. McGowan. “However, church safety is a wide ranging set of issues and when I conduct church safety meetings, I talk about church shootings, but I also discuss how to prevent someone from taking money from their church to how to best protect their property from being vandalized to what the law says about Concealed Weapon Permit holders. It is a wide range of topics that come up during every meeting.”

Sgt. McGowan is also heavily involved in the first ever “Citizens Police Academy” in September and spots are still available to be involved.

Citizens of Oconee County can sign up now for the classes at the website of the Sheriff’s Office at www.oconeelaw.com by clicking on the “Citizens Police Academy” link near the upper right portion of the website. You must 21 years of age or older to participate in the “Citizens Police Academy.”

Those who are selected will have a chance to meet the Command Staff and many of the deputies of the Sheriff’s Office. Some of the topics covered will be patrol operations, equipment and its uses, criminal investigations, E-911 communications, SWAT team operations, plus a judicial overview by one of the local judges, information on detention and narcotics. On a Saturday during the classes, instructees will observe a SWAT team demonstration. At the conclusion of the classes, those who participate will be given a shirt, a certificate and a class photo.

There is a selection process for those who sign up, which includes a background check. Sgt. McGowan is hoping to reach demographics from every walk of life in Oconee County, with the class size limited to 25 due to logistic limitations. The classes will meet for 10 consecutive weeks on Tuesday evenings with one Saturday meeting for the SWAT demonstration.

Participation in all the classes is important, according to Sgt. McGowan, due to the fact of the volume of information that is going to be presented. Missing two of more classes may result in a disqualification from the program.

The dates for the first “Citizens Police Academy” will be each Tuesday from Tuesday, September 2nd until Tuesday, November 4th from 6pm until 9pm except for the November 4th date, in which the time will be from 7:30pm until 9pm because of Election Day. The SWAT demonstration will take place at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Advance Firearms and Tactical Training Center on Saturday, September 13th from 9am until 12 noon.
All those who are selected with be notified. There is no cost for those who are selected for the “Citizens Police Academy.”

For more information on the “Citizens Police Academy” or to schedule a church safety meeting, contact Sgt. McGowan at 864-638-2017.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seek the Public’s Help Regarding June Larceny

20140615_012925_02_00

20140615_013726_02_00

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a larceny that occurred in the parking lot of a Seneca area business back on June 15th.

A deputy responded to an address in the 1600 block of Sandifer Boulevard around 3:15pm on June 17th regarding a larceny that had occurred during the early morning hours of the 15th. The complainant told the deputy that someone had stolen a yellow and black 7HP 3400 PSI Dealt pressure washer from the back of a pickup truck at the same address on Sandifer Boulevard on the 15th.

The surveillance system at the business recorded a black male stealing the pressure washer from the back of the truck around 1:30am the morning of the 15th. The male then placed the pressure washer into a medium light colored 4 door sedan, according to the incident report. The video from the surveillance camera appears to show other subjects which appeared to assist in the larceny as well. The pressure washer was lent to the complainant by another individual for the complainants use.

If anyone has any information regarding this June 15th larceny, 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 Announces Speakers Bureau

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has announced the creation of a Speakers Bureau that is available to speak with church, civic, or business groups and organizations throughout Oconee County on a variety of subjects.

“We want to educate our citizens in reducing their chances of becoming a victim in addition to creating awareness about law enforcement issues,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.

The following is a list of the deputies that are available to speak and the list of topics that these deputies are available to talk about:

Public Information/Media Issues – Jimmy Watt
Victim Services/Project Lifesaver – Vickie Bottoms, Rhonda Morgan
Sheriff’s Office Chaplain’s – Gary Carr
E-911 Communications/Dispatch – Travis Tilson
Gun Safety, Church Safety – Mike McGowan, Jeff Underwood
Identity Theft, Frauds, Scams – Mandy Tinsley, Justin Ward
Child Abuse, Dive Team – Gentry Hawk
Criminal Domestic Violence – Kevin Cain
Property Crimes – David Smith, David McMahan, Scott Arnold, Will Freestate
Narcotics and Alcohol Awareness – Jeremy Chapman, Ken Washington
SWAT, Gang Awareness – Ken Washington, Jeremy Chapman
Helicopter Program – Dan Suddeth, Kevin Cain, Justin Ward, Josh Sheriff
Road Patrol Operations, Reserve Officers – Jeff Underwood
Sex Offender Registry, Offender Watch – Kelly Winchester
Litter Issues – Tim Rice
Neighborhood Crime Watch – Norm Dukes
School Safety, – Mark Lyles, School Resource Officers
Marine Unit- Jay Freeman
Citizens Police Academy – Mike McGowan
Ladies Self Defense – Travis Tilson
Crimes Against Seniors – Justin Ward, Mandy Tinsley
Internet Safety – Justin Ward, Mandy Tinsley
K-9 role in law enforcement – Tommy Crompton
Sheriff’s Budget on how your tax dollars are spent – Mike Crenshaw
Meth Lab Public Awareness – Kevin Davis
Jail Operations – Steve Pruitt, Mike Crenshaw, Kevin Davis
Animal Control – Jaimee Paul, Mark Lyles, Greg Reed
Loss Prevention/Shoplifting – Mike McGowan
Law Enforcement Training – Chuck Giordano

To arrange to have one of these deputies speak to your group or organization, contact Sgt. Mike McGowan of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-2017.

Promotions and Awards Ceremony Held at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Nina McKee and Corporal Charles Mulwee

Deputy Nina McKee and Corporal Charles Mulwee

Deputy Nina McKee and Jeff Underwood, Captain of the Road Patrol Division

Deputy Nina McKee and Jeff Underwood, Captain of the Road Patrol Division

Corporal Charles Mulwee and Jeff Underwood, Captain of the Road Patrol Division

Corporal Charles Mulwee and Jeff Underwood, Captain of the Road Patrol Division

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office held a promotions ceremony in which one officer was promoted and two Life Saving awards were handed out.
Deputy Charles Mulwee was promoted today to a Corporal’s position. Mulwee is also the Sheriff’s Office newest School Resource Officer, as he will be responsible for mentoring to high risk student’s in the elementary and intermediate schools in the county.
Mulwee was also honored with a Life Saving award for his actions in the aftermath of a traffic accident on June 24 on Highway 59 in which he and a bystander lifted wreckage of a vehicle off of a victim and Mulwee provided aid and comfort as medical units arrived.
Also honored with a Life Saving award is Deputy Nina McKee for her actions in late February in response to a woman with a gunshot wound to the leg as McKee used her tourniquet from her D.O.K. kit to stop bleeding in the woman’s leg.
Six Life Saving awards have been issued by the Sheriff’s Office since Mike Crenshaw became Sheriff on January 1st, 2013.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests North Carolina Woman on Outstanding Warrants

Keri Ann Gibson-Messick

Keri Ann Gibson-Messick

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a North Carolina woman yesterday on four outstanding warrants that stem from an incident that occurred back on June 18th.

21 year old Keri Ann Gibson Messick of 304 Birch Street in Lowell, North Carolina was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:25pm on charges of unlawful carrying of a pistol, possessing a weapon and not being authorized to do so (the weapon was reported stolen out of Greenville County), resisting arrest, and public disorderly conduct. She was released after a bond hearing yesterday on a combined $15,262.50 personal recognizance bound. Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputies transported Gibson Messick from Gaston County, NC to Oconee County reportedly after Gibson Messick turned herself into authorities in North Carolina.

A Spartanburg man, 26 year old John Harvey Hunter of 458 North Church Street, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:02am Thursday morning, June 19th in regards to the same incident. He was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, possessing a weapon and not being authorized to do so (the weapon was reported stolen from Greenville County) and giving false information to a law enforcement officer. He was also cited on a uniform traffic ticker for public disorderly conduct. Hunter remains in jail at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $21,355 surety bond.

Back on Wednesday, June 18th, deputies responded around 10:15pm to the Bountyland Quik Stop location on Highway 123 near Old Clemson Highway in response to reports of a disturbance between a male and female in a vehicle near the gas pumps. When deputies arrived, the female, Messick, ran into the store while the male, Hunter, was seated in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. According to the incident report, Hunter was reportedly belligerent toward one of the deputies. The female eventually came out of the store, where she told a deputy that she and Hunter had gotten into an argument while driving down the road and when they pulled into the business, the argument continued. Messick told the deputy that Hunter reportedly had spit at her but had not physically harmed her.

Hunter continued to be belligerent with the officers on scene, appeared to be nervous and tried to continue to argue with Messick, according to the incident report. Hunter gave the deputies a false name but could not provide identification. Messick provided deputies with her name and date of birth but did not have any identification. Hunter told deputies that he and Messick had gotten into an argument and he asked to get out of the vehicle but she refused to allow him to do so.

An employee of the store told deputies that both subjects were in a heated argument inside the store and used profanity while inside, at which point they were asked to leave.

Deputies tried to identify Hunter through SCDMV records, but after discovering a conflict, Hunter refused to cooperate and asked for a lawyer. Deputies then tried to identify Messick through the same method but no records were found in South Carolina. After an additional officer arrived on scene, both subjects were placed under arrest for public disorderly conduct. As she was being placed under arrest, Messick ran from officer towards Highway 76 where she eventually eluded officers in the woods across the road.

A wrecker was called and an inventory of the vehicle was conducted by deputies, where deputies discovered a hand gun concealed in the back seat on the driver’s side near where Hunter had been sitting. A check of the firearm revealed that it was stolen out of Greenville County. Ammunition that did not match the caliber of the firearm discovered was also found but no other contraband was discovered. The vehicle was towed and Hunter was transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

During the booking process, Hunter told deputies that he had swallowed some heroin before deputies arrived at the incident location at Bountyland Quik Stop. Hunter was then transported to Oconee Medical Center. He also provided deputies with his correct name and birthdate.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man Wanted on Outstanding Warrants

Chad Tyron Lee

Chad Tyron Lee

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man yesterday on outstanding warrants that date back to the year 2003.

40 year old Chad Tyron Lee, whose address on warrants is listed as 577 Campbell Bridge Road in Seneca, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 5:43pm.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputy met with deputies from Anderson County yesterday in Townville to pick Lee up and transport him to the Oconee County Detention Center. According to deputies, Lee went to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office to change his address as he is required to do as Lee is on the Sex Offender Registry. A National Crime Information Center check revealed that Lee had the outstanding warrants from Oconee County.

According to warrants, Lee is charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (crack cocaine), distribution of crack cocaine within the proximity of a school (Code Elementary School), and distribution of crack cocaine. The warrants allege that these incidents took place on April 4th, 2003 on Sixth Street in Seneca and were made to an undercover operative working at the direction of the Sheriff’s Office.

Lee was released from the Oconee County Detention Center after a bond hearing earlier today on a $20,000 personal recognizance bond.

Duke Energy Announces Quarterly Siren Test for Next Week

Oconee Nuclear Station

Oconee Nuclear Station

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Next Wednesday morning, July 9th, The Oconee Nuclear Station will be conducting their quarterly siren test. The test will begin at 11:50am and with last three minutes.
Once again, next Wednesday, July 9th will only be a test and no public action is required. For more information, call 1-800-777-1004, Option 1.

Plenty of Independence Day Activities Around the Golden Corner

4th of July

Oconee State Park - Swim Area

Oconee State Park – Swim Area

4th of July - Hillbilly Day - Mountain Rest

4th of July – Hillbilly Day – Mountain Rest

4th of July - South Cove Parade

4th of July – South Cove Parade

Independence Eve - Walhalla

Independence Eve – Walhalla

July 4th - TAMS - Seneca

July 4th – TAMS – Seneca

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–As the United States celebrates its 238th birthday this Friday, July 4th, there are plenty of activities for all ages around the Golden Corner on Thursday and Friday.

The Independence Day activities begin on Thursday evening, July 3rd, with Independence Eve in Walhalla, which begins at 6pm at the Walhalla Soccer Field. Admission is free to the event, and there will be food booths, games and music, plus fireworks shortly after 9pm. For more information on this event, visit walhallachamber.com.

July 4th itself brings four different activities to celebrate our nation’s birthday. First, there is Hillbilly Day in Mountain Rest, which is the longest running annual festival in South Carolina. Hillbilly Day begins at 9am and runs until 3pm with free parking and admission and plenty of activities for the whole family, including bluegrass, gospel music and clogging.

At Oconee State Park just off Highway 107, the Day of Fun begins at 10am with Field Day games and water events in the afternoon. For more information on this event, please visit www.southcarolina parks.com.

South Cove Park in Seneca will also be hosting 4th of July activities this Friday, with an inflatable water slide and a golf cart parade. Food vendors will be open starting a mid-day until the fireworks start, which begins at 10:30pm.

In the city of Seneca, the 4th of July celebration in Seneca begins at 4pm with gates opening at Gignilliat Field. The headline act for the events in Seneca will be the Tams, who will take the stage starting sometime after 8pm. Groove Planet and The Jamie Wright Experience will open. Fireworks will follow around 9:15pm. For more information on this event, visit www.seneca.sc.us.

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

William Andrew Craig, Jr.

William Andrew Craig, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man on Friday afternoon on manufacturing marijuana charges.

31 year old William Andrew Craig, Jr. of 1236 Burns Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:18pm.

A deputy responded to the Burns Drive location during the lunch hour Friday in response to a call from DSS, who responded to the address due to a complaint that they received. The DSS representative informed the deputy of what appeared to be a marijuana plant growing in a flower pot beside the home.

The representative was not allowed to do a walkthrough of the residence and was asked to leave by Craig, Jr. A deputy responded and spoke with Craig, Jr. and another person at the residence. The deputy was given permission to search the residence and the vehicle on the property. The search revealed what appeared to be six marijuana plants in a trash bag in the trunk of the vehicle.

Craig, Jr. told the deputy that the plants were his and he was the only one who knew about the plants. Craig, Jr. was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center. The evidence was turned over the narcotics agents of the Sheriff’s Office.

Craig, Jr. was released after a bond hearing on Saturday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.