MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, April 9, 2019) The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the results of a seven-month narcotics investigation. Sheriff Duane Lewis was joined by 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, Charleston DEA Agent in Charge Jason Sandoval, Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Charleston Office Nick Bianchi and senior members of Tri-County law enforcement
The seven-month Community Enforcement Initiative began when law enforcement officials began looking at the narcotic issue in the Tri-County area. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the DEA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Solicitor’s Office, Homeland Security, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Charleston Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department and Summerville Police Department. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office also utilized the Berkeley County Narcotics Task Force that includes members of the Sheriff’s Office, Goose Creek Police Department, Hanahan Police Department and Moncks Corner Police Department.
The investigation yielded 45 arrests in the Tri-County area. Fifteen of those arrests were made in Berkeley County. As a result of the investigation, 19 people were federally indicted with charges of Conspiracy, Distribution of Heroin, Distribution of Fentanyl and Distribution of Methamphetamines.
From the 15 Berkeley County arrests, Deputies were able to seize 14 ounces of Heroin, 11 pounds of Meth, 92 illegal firearms and $106,000 in cash.
“This investigation has gone beyond the Tri-County area to actually Mexico. We all know that’s where a large percentage of our illegal narcotics is coming into the country, and we’re not immune from it here in the Tri-County area or Berkeley County.”, Sheriff Duane Lewis said in the press conference.
“We aren’t just going after the street level drug dealers and then being done with it but we are really building cases and going after groups on an organizational level so we can have a true impact on helping this community.”, Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Charleston Office Nick Bianchi said.
“What we are seeing across the country is really unbelievable with the opioid crisis. We want the people to realize it’s not just people going out there and partying, people are out there dying. These drugs are out there killing people.”, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said.
“If you are a drug dealer, if you are a drug distributor, you are a majority contributor to this problem and we as a unified law enforcement front will pursue you will every resource we have to stop you from killing our fellow citizens.”, Charleston DEA Agent in Charge Jason Sandoval said.
– Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office –