100 Charged In Largest Drug Bust In South Carolina History
South Carolina prosecutors have announced its biggest drug bust in state history, with 100 defendants facing nearly 500 charges. On Monday (March 8) South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said that, so far, 100 people are facing 297 counts and 487 charges total, News 19 reports. Charges range from drug trafficking and weapons to burglary and kidnapping.
The case is referred to as “Prison Empire,” one of the state’s largest narcotics conspiracy investigations ever indicted. Throughout the extensive multi-agency investigation, it was revealed that the much of the drug trafficking was coordinated by current and former prison inmates through contraband cell phones. One of the defendants, a paralegal, is accused of sending drugs and phones into prison through hollowed out court transcripts, ABC News 4 reports. Ten other defendants are currently in prison.
According to investigators, the large drug operation trafficked in more than 1,000 kilograms of methamphetamine, or more than 2,200 pounds. Investigators have also seized 20 kilograms of meth, 5 kilos of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, and 82 firearms. News 19 reports that much of the operation was in the Upstate counties.
The full list of defendants and the charges they each face can be found here.