Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Recognizes “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————–May is “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office not only recognizes this important designation, but it also wants to remind all motorists to be safe, regardless of what kind of vehicle they may be driving.

In May of 2005, then South Carolina governor Mark Sanford issued a proclamation recognizing and raising awareness about motorcycle safety. The proclamation mentioned that this observance “calls attention to the importance of actively promoting safe motorcycle operation, increased rider training, improved licensing efforts, and motorists’ awareness.” The Governor’s proclamation also asked for all road and highway users to “exercise added caution” to “ensure all motorcyclists throughout South Carolina have an enjoyable riding season” and that “all South Carolinians to be aware of motorcyclists who share our roads and highways and to work together to reduce motorcycle related crashes, injuries, and fatalities.”

Motorists are asked to “Look Twice –Save A Life” every day when it comes to sharing the road with motorcyclists. But, motorcycle safety goes beyond that, not just for bikers, but drivers of other vehicles as well.

“The advice I would give motorists would be to consciously look out for motorcycles,” according to Sgt. Kevin Matheson of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and an Oconee County native. Sgt. Matheson is also a member of the Upstate SC Chapter of Defenders, a law enforcement motorcycle club. “The greatest concentration of motorcyclists is normally from March to October, when the weather is the warmest. But motorists need to look out for bikers year round. Also, make sure not to tailgate a motorcycle, because bikes can stop quicker than a normal passenger vehicle. Also, motorists need to be aware of distractions as they are driving their vehicles in regards to texting or calling while they drive. These distractions can make it more difficult for motorists to be aware of bikers who are close by.”

“One of the most important things bikers can do is to look at the drivers of other vehicles, not just the vehicles themselves,” according to Sgt. Matheson. “If it’s at all possible, lock eyes, try to see them and make sure they see you as well. Make sure you look at their rims to see in which direction they are turning. Use the entire lane, especially if you are riding alone, and if you riding with a group, make sure you ride staggered for safety concerns, as it gives you room to maneuver and prevents you from hitting another biker if they apply their brakes.”

Safety equipment is extremely important, according to Sgt. Matheson. Helmets and leather protective gear are certainly recommended, including gloves, jackets, and chaps, even wearing blue jeans is good. In the summertime, there is protective gear that is vented which allows air to circulate. Helmets made of carbon material are much lighter and half-helmets are DOT certified. For those who may not like to wear helmets, Sgt. Matheson recommends that you make them your own, by painting and putting stickers on them.

A huge part of biker safety is taking a safety course, which is highly recommended by Sgt. Matheson and Lance Corporeal Bill Rhyne of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, who teaches a majority of the motorcycle safety training classes throughout the state of South Carolina for the Patrol.

“Everybody needs some type of training,” according to Trooper Rhyne. “Everyone needs to take at least an intermediate level course no matter how long they have been riding.”

In fact, according to Trooper Rhyne, South Carolina is only one of two states, California being the other, which has an advanced training course for on and off road bikers. That course is located in Spartanburg County at the BMW course. Lance Corporeal Rhyne recommends going to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website at www. msf-usa.org for training information. Sgt. Matheson also recommends checking with your local motorcycle dealer for safety classes.

Sgt. Matheson also wants to remind everyone that it is not just a “biker” that you may hit, but someone’s father, husband, son, mother, daughter, or wife.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office/Crimestoppers Team Up for Event at Chick-Fil-A in Seneca

Crowds gather last Friday afternoon at the Crimestoppers Trailers at the Carnival of Characters Event at Chick-Fil-A in Seneca.

Crowds gather last Friday afternoon at the Crimestoppers Trailers at the Carnival of Characters Event at Chick-Fil-A in Seneca.

Crimestoppers Banner

Many of the parents and children who attended the Carnival of Characters Event at Chick-Fil-A last Friday afternoon.

Many of the parents and children who attended the Carnival of Characters Event at Chick-Fil-A last Friday afternoon.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Seneca,SC)————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and Crimestoppers of Oconee County teamed up to participate in an event at Chick-Fil-A in Seneca on Friday, April 26th.

The Crimestoppers trailier was there handing out materials at the Carnival of Characters Event. According to Fred Delcamp, over 300 kids signed up at the event.

Those participating Friday afternoon on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office and Crimestoppers was Delcamp, who is the chairman of Crimestopppers of Oconee County, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, Crimestoppers Coordinator and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt, and Crimestoppers Board Members Helen Westmoreland and Bob Winchester. Rotarian Terry McCracken was participated as well.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Teams up with the West-Oak Girls Softball Team for Community Service

Community Service

Community Service

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————–Recently, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the girls’ softball team at West-Oak teamed up for a day of community service.

On April 13th, the softball team came to the animal control office. The girls participated in many activities, including spreading mulch around the building and the walkways. Afterwards, the girls went into the building for lessons on how to take care of dogs and cats.

After making their way back outside, the girls went to the horse corral to be instructed on how to manage and take care of neglected horses.

The Sheriff’s Office employees who participated in this special day with the softball team were Brian Cobb, Dewey Moss, and Mark Lyles.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control helps Cat Stuck in Tree

Cat In Tree Pictures

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————–On March 26th, Oconee County Sheriff Animal Control officers received a call of a cat that was stuck in a tree in the 100 block of Perkins Place, which is near Perkins Creek Road and West South 4th Street in Seneca.

Animal Control officers, along with Seneca Fire and Seneca Light and Water, responded to the scene.

Seneca Light and Water used their boom truck and got the cat out of the tree. The cat was then turned over to Animal Control. The cat was not injured or harmed.

Besides the officials from Seneca, Animal Control officers Brian Cobb and Jason Starnes provided assistance.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Locates Missing Teen

Katherine Lidey

Katherine Lidey

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office located a 16 year old teenage girl who had been missing since the end of February.

According to Sheriff’s Office Investigators, Katherine Lidey was found at a location at 7 Quail Drive, which is located near MountainView Road and Flat Shoals Road just outside of Salem. Katherine, who goes by Katey, was reported missing from her foster home in Westminster around 6am on February 27th.

Katherine was located around 11:40am this morning. She was then turned over to DSS custody.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to look into the matter.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Recognizes Deputies During a Promotions Ceremony

Standing Left to Right: Sgt. Paul Orr, Corp. Bryan Danielson, Corp. Jay Freeman, and Corp. Phillip Robertson.  Kneeling from right to left: Corp. Matt Bryson and Master Deputy Michael Lee.

Standing Left to Right: Sgt. Paul Orr, Corp. Bryan Danielson, Corp. Jay Freeman, and Corp. Phillip Robertson. Kneeling from left to right: Corp. Matt Bryson and Master Deputy Michael Lee.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————Recently, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office recognized several deputies during a promotion ceremony at the Law Enforcement Center.

The deputies in the picture above, plus deputies from the narcotics unit were also recognized. One deputy recognized but not in attendance that day was Kelly Winchester, who is the new sexual offender registar.

The deputies in attendace who were recognized and promoted were Sgt. Paul Orr and Corp. Bryan Danielson from the Warrants Division, School Resource Officer Corp. Jay Freeman, Corp. Matt Bryson and Master Control Deputy Michael Lee from the Road Patrol Division, and Corp. Phillip Robertson from the PACE Team.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Two Drug Arrest Wednesday Afternoon

Barbara Lynn Morgan

Steven Gregory Brock

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office made two arrests on drug charges Wednesday afternoon.

46 year old Steven Gregory Brock of Westminster and 31 year old Barbara Lynn Morgan of Townville were arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, narcotics agents with the Sheriff’s Office and the Seneca Police Department executed a search warrant at GB Automotive Shop at 598 West-Oak Highway. Deputies and officers took into their possession drugs and drug paraphernalia, as well as 4 firearms and two vehicles. The suspects were transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

Warrants were also served on Brock at that location in regards to a grand larceny of a camper at 435 Holden Drive in Westminster, which occurred on August 1st, 2012. Brock has additionally been charged with grand larceny valued at $4,150. Some of the contents of the camper were recovered at the address on West-Oak Highway, according to investigators.

There was also a juvenile in the building at the time the warrants were served. DSS was notified to assist with the juvenile.

Deputies then responded to the home address of Morgan, 151 Woolbright Circle in Townville, at the request of DSS for a possible welfare check. Deputies were then informed by the DSS investigator that there were possible illegal drugs inside the residence. Morgan, incarcerated at the Detention Center on charges related to her arrest on West-Oak Highway, gave consent for deputies to search her residence. Morgan notified deputies that there was a black box containing methamphetamines at her residence. Those narcotics were seized and placed into evidence. Morgan faces additional charges of possession of methamphetamine.

“We would like to thank the community for the tips that led to the search warrants and the arrests,” according to Lieutenant Jeremy Chapman, Narcotics and Vice Supervisor for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “We especially thank the narcotics officers with the Seneca Police Department for their help and assistance with this case.”

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation at this time.

Brock pled guilty to charges of Grand Larceny and Manufacturing Methamphetamine. He was sentenced to ten years in prison suspended to two years house incarceration and three years probation. He was given credit for time served and order to pay restitution on the Grand Larceny charge.

Morgan pled guilty to one count of Possession of Methamphetamine. She was given a three year suspended sentenced with time served and one year probation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Individual on Manufacturing Meth Charges

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

Walhalla, SC)—————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man earlier today on drug charges.

41 year old Bobby Jay Eugene Shead of Seneca has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and with possessing miscellaneous chemicals and cooking equipment that was used in the manufacturing of meth at his residence at 430 Village Creek Circle in Seneca.

According to deputies, two anonymous tips were phoned into the Sheriff’s Office dispatch, one which complained of drug activity in reference to the smell of methamphetamine being produced at the above address and the other referencing a report of loud explosion, which was followed by a scream. When deputies arrived on scene and were allowed to come inside, they reported the smell of chemicals in the trailer and a haze of smoke inside, which the occupants claimed was cigarette smoke. Upon a search of the bathroom, drug paraphernalia was found, as well as baggies and scales and materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including materials found in the trash. Narcotics agents arrived to process the scene, which at a later time Shead gave deputies permission to search the home. He later confirmed that a lab was located at the residence and that he had been producing meth without the knowledge of two other individuals who were there at that time, including his wife. A cleanup crew arrived to clean the area and Shead was placed under arrest.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

Shead pled guilty to other charges and was sentenced on March 25th, 2015 on charges of Distribution of Methamphetamine – 2nd Offense. Shead was sentenced to five years in prison and given credit for 193 days times served.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputies Make Drug Distribution Arrest

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

Walhalla, SC)—————Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputies made an arrest yesterday on drug distribution charges.

19 year old Austin Blaine Myers of 200 Evans Street in Westminster was booked at the Oconee County Detention Center around around 8:08pm.

According to deputies, Myers is accused of selling marijuana to undercover agents of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office on April 3rd and April 22nd. The incident on April 3rd occurred at 1636 Sandifer Boulevard and the incident on April 22nd occurred at the suspect’s address of residence. Agents of the Sheriff’s Office followed the undercover agents to a pre-determined location where the evidence was retrieved and later turned over as evidence.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputies are continuing their investigation.

Myers pled guilty to both charges and was sentenced in February of 2014 to 5 years in prison suspended to 3 years probation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Recognizes “SC Internet Crimes Against Children Stay Safe Online Week”

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————-This week, the week of April 21st – 27th, is SC Internet Crimes Against Children “Stay Safe Online” week. And the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is joining in the recognition of this week.

Governor Nikki Haley recently issued a proclamation which pointed out that more than 375 arrests and 246 convictions have resulted from the work of the South Carolina Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. The Task Force, according to the proclamation, has since 1998 “united resources at the state, county, and local level in a coordinated effort to combat online predators and to keep children safe.” The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has been a part of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force since 2006. The Internet Crimes Against Children task force is nationwide and was originally established by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Our enforcement efforts have ranged from public education, undercover chatting online, and investigating file sharing networks in which child pornography is distributed online,” according to Sgt. Justin Ward of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “Anytime a civic group or school requests, we do our best to schedule and conduct internet safety presentations. Keeping children safe online is a very high priority for us and being a member of this task force allows us to be proactive in this pursuit.”

The SC ICAC’s Internet Safety Education outreach has made hundreds of presentations statewide, according to the Governor’s proclamation. These presentations according to that proclamation, have educated “children of all ages, as well as teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and grandparents, about ways to stay safe online.”

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office joined the Task Force on June 2nd, 2006. Since that time, according to statistics from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office has arrested 7 individuals on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor charges, which has led to 6 convictions. There have also been 4 arrests on Sexual Exploitation of a Minor charges, which has led to 2 convictions, according to the Attorney General’s Office.