Last updated: May 22. 2014 8:44AM - 906 Views

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COLUMBIA – Indictments against 35 people were announced Friday by the state Attorney General’s Office in connection with an Upstate marijuana and prescription drug trafficking operation.


S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson made the announcement during a press conference held in Pickens.


The indictment alleges that from 2009 to the present, multiple individuals in South Carolina and as far away as California conspired to transport and distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana and prescription drugs throughout Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties, with illegal activity also occurring in York, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Cherokee counties.


The following people were indicted:


• Joshua Ellsworth (AKA “Zack”), 39, of Aptos, Calif., trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy) and distribution of marijuana x 5.


• Michael Christopher Davis, 24, of Taylors, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Farrell Katelyn White, 21, of Greenville, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Brian Preston Pace. 26, of Travelers Rest, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• James Michael Smith Jr., 26, of Travelers Rest, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Thomas William Smith Jr., 24, of Greenville, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• James Michael Wiley, 58, of York, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Keegan Milton Rhoades, 23, of Myrtle Beach, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Reece Hunter Motley, 24, of Charleston, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Timothy Edward Suggs, 23, of Seneca, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Kent Logan Carpenter, 23, of Florence, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Michael Ross Gordon, 24, of Clemson, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Carter Cowan Lathan, 25, of Greenville, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy) and distribution of marijuana.


• David Benjamin Scroggs, 23, of Clemson, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy) and distribution of marijuana x 2.


• Michael Patrick Bobinski (AKA “Biscuit”), 22, of Clemson, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Jarrod Randal Sampson, 33, of Norris, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Michael Anthony Looper, 21, of Fountain Inn, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Emma Frances Poole Bearden, 24, of Piedmont, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Derek Michael Hancock, 25, of Piedmont, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Justin Ray Harris, 31, of Greer, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Patricia Kaye Norman, 48, of Crystal Bay, Nev., trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Amanda Raye Copeland, 24, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Nicholas Joseph Schirripa, 24, of Central, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy), trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) x 2 and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.


• Taylor Alexander DuBose, 23, of Central, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy), trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) x 2, trafficking in illegal drugs (Oxycodone) (Conspiracy), and distribution of Schedule II substance (Oxycodone) x 3.


• Daniel Stuart Defore, 23, of Columbia, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Jessica Latres Epps, 25, of Easley, trafficking marijuana (100-2,000 pounds) (Conspiracy) and distribution of marijuana.


• Duke William Finley, 23, of Raleigh, N.C., trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.


• Jessica Grace Brewer, 22, of Pendleton, trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.


• Andrew Michael Moran, 27, of Seneca, trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Thomas Carl Wyatt, 28, of Westminster, trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Adam Lee Harvey, 32, of Charlotte, N.C., trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy).


• Jordan Michael Decot, 24, of Greenville, trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) and distribution of marijuana.


• Jonathan P. Mangiapane, 24, of Jersey City, N.J., trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy) x 2.


• Adriano Michael Menin, 22, of Seneca, trafficking marijuana (10-100 pounds) (Conspiracy). Thomas Kendall Yearwood, 24, of Travelers Rest, trafficking in illegal drugs (Oxycodone) (Conspiracy) and distribution of Schedule II Substance (Oxycodone) x 2.


Each offense carries the following punishment upon conviction:


• Trafficking marijuana 10-100 pounds: 1-10 years and a $10,000 fine


• Trafficking marijuana 100-2,000 pounds: 25 years and a $25,000 fine


• Distribution of marijuana (first offense): up to 5 years and/or a fine up to $5,000


• Possession with intent to distribute (PWID) marijuana: up to 5 years and/or a fine up to $5,000


• Trafficking in illegal drugs, (28 grams or more): 25-40 years and a $200,000 fine


• Distribution of Schedule II Controlled Substance: 0-15 years and/or a fine up to $25,000


Agents from the California Department of Justice, Santa Clara County (California) Special Enforcement Team, DEA Greenville, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, S.C. Highway Patrol, S.C. Department of Probation, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, York County Drug Enforcement Unit, Greenville Police Department, Easley Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Seneca Police Department, S.C. National Guard/Counter Drug Unit, S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Butte County (California) Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Clemson Police Department, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, and Travelers Rest Police Department participated in the investigation.


The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joshua R. Underwood and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Heather S. Weiss.


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