Pickens Suspects

Six of the primary suspects Sheriff Clark said were among the 54 indicted (Source: PCSO)

PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Friday that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued a round of indictments in the “Operation Prison Empire” drug trafficking investigation.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark also hosted a news conference on the indictments Friday, as the majority of the suspects are from or are facing charges in Pickens County.

“These are thugs. They were attacking our communities, and we broke it up,” Clark said. “Mostly they harmed a lot of families.”

Mug Shots: These are the 54 people indicted in Operation Prison Empire

Officials said the operation is part of an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking overseen and managed by current and former South Carolina prison inmates using contraband cell phones.

Most of the drugs Wilson said were being trafficked in the case were methamphetamine, but there are also cocaine and marijuana charges as well.  There were also a number of firearms and weapons charges, as well as burglary, kidnapping, and related charges from an incident allegedly ordered from prison because of nonpayment of a drug debt, Wilson said

“The only way prison inmates are able to keep committing crimes on the outside is by using contraband cell phones,” Wilson stated in a news release. “They coordinate with people on the outside to get drugs and smuggle them into prisons. This market for contraband inside our prisons has contributed to gang power, gang rivalries, and gang violence within our prisons, and also contributes to violence on the outside by those who are involved.”

Bryan Stirling, director of the S.C. Department of Corrections added, “Contraband cell phones are the most dangerous weapons in prisoners’ hands.”

11 indictments were unsealed on Wednesday were eleven indictments for 194 charges against 54 defendants. 

Below is a list of Upstate defendants and their charges;

Samantha Diane Chavez Aiken (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • iv. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Violent Offense: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • v. Possession of a Stolen Handgun: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • vi. Failure to Stop for a Blue Light: 90 days-3 years or $500
  • vii. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Substance: 0-3 years and/or $0-$6,000
  • viii. Driving While License Suspended: 0-30 days and/or $300

Steve Dewyatt Aiken, Jr. (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 grams: 25 years and $50,000

Edward Gary Akridge (a/k/a “Eddie Boss”)(Edgefield & Pickens counties)

  • i. Conspiracy: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • ii. Burglary, First Degree: 15 years-life
  • iii. Kidnapping (3 counts): 1-30 years
  • iv. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • v. Assault and Battery, First Degree: 1-10 years
  • vi. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • vii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000

Joey Durant Atkins (Pickens County) 

  • i. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000

Justin Kvalheim Babb (Pickens & Anderson counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 grams (2 counts): 25 years and $50,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years

Ryan Christopher Ballard (Pickens & Anderson counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime (2 counts): 5 years
  • iv. Unlawful Possession of a Handgun by Person Convicted of a Crime of Violence: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • v. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000
  • vi. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • vii. Unlawful Possession of a Handgun by Person Convicted of a Crime of Violence: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • viii. Possession of a Stolen Handgun: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000

William Clinton Barkley (Anderson County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • ii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000

Joey Neal Bodie (Pickens and Laurens counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 grams: 25 years and $100,000

Steven Ray Boyd (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 grams: 25 years and $100,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime (3 counts): 5 years

Jessica Addie Bradshaw (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Distribution of Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000
  • iii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams (2 counts): 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iv. Possession of Marijuana: 0-30 days or $100-$200

Jennifer Nicole Burns (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • iii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000

Kurtis Russell Burns (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams (2 counts): 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime (4 counts): 5 years
  • iv. Driving While License Suspended: 0-30 days and/or $300
  • v. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams (4 counts): 7-25 years and $50,000
  • vi. Distribution of Controlled Substance within Proximity of School (2 counts): 0-1 year and/or $0-$1,000
  • vii. Distribution of Marijuana (2 counts): 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • viii. Possession of a Stolen Handgun (3 counts): 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • ix. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • x. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000

William David Burns (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Warren Brent Chastain (a/k/a “Yo Gotti”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Jacob Austin Collins (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • iii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000

Jesse Taylor Crooks (a/k/a “Roach”) (Greenville & Pickens counties)

  • i. Trafficking Cocaine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • iii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000

 Scott Allen Durham (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Distribution of Methamphetamine (3 counts): 0-15 years and/or $25,000
  • iii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000

Stacey M. Edgerly (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Kelli Denise Edwards (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years

Christina Marie Epps (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Kenneth Bryant Evans, II (a/k/a “Kuntry”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

McKayla Dawn Franks (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Garrick Houston Fuller (a/k/a “Gary Wayne”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Barbara Ann Goodman (Anderson & Pickens counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • ii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • iii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • iv. Distribution of Methamphetamine (3 counts): 0-15 years and/or $25,000
  • v. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams (2 counts): 7-25 years and $50,000

Robert Anthony Gracely (a/k/a “Tony G”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Heather Michelle Hamilton (a/k/a “Yola”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of Methamphetamine: 0-3 years and/or $0-$5,000

Sommer Leigh Johnson (Union County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000

Casey Christian Kohler (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Kristin Nicole Lesley (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 grams: 25 years and $50,000
  • iii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000

Cassidy Shane Lewis (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Candies Brooke Locke (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • iii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000

Jeffery Shane Mauldin (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Darrell Foster McCoy, Jr. (a/k/a “DJ”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Matthew David McCoy (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Christopher Robert Nix (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000
  • iii. Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I-III Controlled Substance (Amphetamine): 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • iv. Possession of Marijuana: 0-30 days or $100-$200

Brandi Nicole O’Bryant (a/k/a “Brandi Smith”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iii. Possession of Methamphetamine: 0-3 years and/or $0-$5,000

Semeca Dannyelle Oglesby (Pickens & Anderson counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Violent Offense: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • iii. Receiving Stolen Goods (Value Less Than $2,000): 0-30 days and/or $0-$1,000
  • iv. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000
  • v. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000
  • vi. Failure to Stop for a Blue Light: 90 days-3 years or $500
  • vii. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Violent Offense: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • viii. Resisting Arrest with a Deadly Weapon: 6 months-10 years

William Russell Oliver, II (a/k/a “Lil Pimpin”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of Methamphetamine: 0-3 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • iii. Possession of a Stolen Handgun (2 counts): 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • iv. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Violent Offense: 0-5 years and/or $0-$2,000
  • v. Possession of Contraband in County Jail: 1-10 years and/or $1,000-$10,000
  • vi. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams: 7-25 years and $50,000
  • vii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • viii. Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance: 0-2 years and/or $0-$5,000

Scott Damien Pope (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000

Jonathan Richard Rackley (a/k/a “Diesel”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000

Charles Michael Ray (a/k/a “Chuck Ray”)

  • a. 2019-GS-47-23 (Pickens County) (Superseding Indictment)
  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Possession of Methamphetamine: 0-3 years and/or $0-$5,000

Nicanor Perez Rodriguez (a/k/a “Nico”) (Greenville & Pickens Counties)

  • i. Trafficking Cocaine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Antonio Marcus Smith (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Jamal Seantea Smith (a/k/a “Rico”) (Greenville County)

  • i. Trafficking Cocaine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000

Bryan Michael Stegall (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000

Anthony Jevea Turner (a/k/a “Ant) (a/k/a “Ant G”) (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Jodie Crenshaw Turner (Pickens County)

  • i. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000

Michael Wayne Walker, Jr. (Laurens & Pickens counties)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 grams: 25 years and $100,000
  • ii. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • iii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000

Wade Douglas Watkins (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more: 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 10-28 grams: 3-10 years and $25,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime: 5 years
  • iv. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000

Dustin Allen Wilson (Pickens County)

  • i. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 grams or more (2 counts): 25-30 years and $200,000
  • ii. Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 grams (3 counts): 7-25 years and $50,000
  • iii. Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of or Attempt to Commit a Violent Crime (2 counts): 5 years
  • iv. Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000
  • v. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine: 0-15 years and/or $25,000
  • vi. Possession of Marijuana: 0-30 days or $100-$200

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said the defendants in this investigation were indicted through the State Grand Jury and all have been transported to the Greenville County Detention Center for booking and bond hearings. 

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