Monthly Archives: November 2013

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Three Additional Arrests in Drug Conspiracy Case

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has announced three additional arrests in the drug conspiracy case titled “Operation Smurf” that began Monday morning.

According to investigators, two individuals were booked into the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office yesterday and one individual was arrested after 3pm this afternoon. That brings to 29 the total number of individuals arrested on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth. Two individuals remain at large as of 3:30pm this afternoon.

The following are the names of the three individuals mentioned above whom have been arrested either today or yesterday:

1) Teresa Diane Durham
46 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Arrested Wednesday, November 27th at 3:03pm

2) Jennifer Beth Hippensteal
31 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:14pm on Tuesday, November 26th

3) Ernest Wayne Hippensteal
35 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:27pm on Tuesday, November 26th

The following individuals are still at large and are still being sought by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

1) Timothy Joseph Myers
32 years old
1036 N. Hunter Street
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 2nd

2) Alley Elizabeth Eades
22 years old
205 N. Harbour Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Four Additional Arrests in Drug Conspiracy Case

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has announced four additional arrests in the drug conspiracy case titled “Operation Smurf” that began yesterday morning.

According to the Narcotics Division of the Sheriff’s Office, the four individuals turned themselves in, one yesterday afternoon and three this morning. That brings to 26 the total number of individuals arrested on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth. Five individuals remain at large as of 11am this morning.

The following are the names of the four individuals who turned themselves in since 1:30pm yesterday afternoon:

1) Melissa Mechele Sanders
45 years old
230 Collins Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

2) Bethany Mechele Sanders
20 years old
230 Collins Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

3) Crystal Nicole Boykin
25 years old
210 Rainbows End Drive
Walhalla, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

4) Greg Daniel Massey
39 years old
710 Crooks Road
Westminster, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

Boykin turned herself in yesterday, according to investigators, while Massey and Melissa and Bethany Sanders turned themselves in this morning.

The following individuals are still at large and are still being sought by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

1) Timothy Joseph Myers
32 years old
1036 N. Hunter Street
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 2nd

2) Teresa Diane Durham
46 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

3) Jennifer Beth Hippensteal
31 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

4) Ernest Wayne Hippensteal
35 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

5) Alley Elizabeth Eades
22 years old
205 N. Harbour Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is Seeking the Public’s Help Regarding Church Burglary and Theft

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a weekend burglary and theft at a Seneca area church.

A deputy responded to Ann Hope United Methodist Church, which is located at 702 Goddard Avenue, on Saturday afternoon around 2:15pm in response to a burglary complaint by the minister of the church, Jim Morgan.
The church is located in the Utica Mill Hill area.

According to Mr. Morgan, the church was broken into between 8pm on November 21st and 2pm on November 23rd. According to the incident report, the suspect(s) removed the mounting bolts to a fence that was around the north facing door to the church and gained access to the church door. The church door and frame had pry marks on them and was slightly open when Mr. Morgan discovered the burglary.

The entire church appeared to be vandalized and several items were stolen. Among the items reported stolen was a leather bag containing headphones and various electrical sound equipment, a Toshiba portable LCD projector, a Crystal 3D 7000 LCD projector, black in color, and a black in color 6 piece Crystal HB 450 surround sound system. The total sum of all the items stolen, according to the incident report, is over $9,000.

Besides the items taken, there were also signs of vandalism inside the church, with estimated damage to church, according to the incident report, at around $3,000.

If you have any information in regards to this burglary and vandalism at Ann Hope United Methodist Church on the Utica Mill Hill near Seneca, call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Multiple Arrests in Drug Conspiracy Case

Candice Marie Bull

Candice Marie Bull

Albert Joseph Rogers

Albert Joseph Rogers

Bradley Allen Stenzinger

Bradley Allen Stenzinger

Bethany Sanders

Bethany Sanders

Amber Nicole Eades

Amber Nicole Eades

Alley Elizabeth Eades

Alley Elizabeth Eades

Carly Regan Hendricks

Carly Regan Hendricks

Crystal Nicole Boykin

Crystal Nicole Boykin

Dorothy Louise Moody

Dorothy Louise Moody

Dustin Turpin

Dustin Turpin

Eldon Jerome Barnes

Eldon Jerome Barnes

James Franklin Ice

James Franklin Ice

Heath Brent Jenkins

Heath Brent Jenkins

Greg Daniel Massey

Greg Daniel Massey

Everett Gilbert

Everett Gilbert

Ernest Hippensteal

Ernest Hippensteal

Jennifer Beth Hippensteal

Jennifer Beth Hippensteal

Joyce Thelma Rogers

Joyce Thelma Rogers

Melissa Sanders

Melissa Sanders

Peggy Jo Eaker

Peggy Jo Eaker

Sheron Nicole Nelon

Sheron Nicole Nelon

Shannon David Powers

Shannon David Powers

Russell Howard Rogers

Russell Howard Rogers

Roger Caness Martin, Jr.

Roger Caness Martin, Jr.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Sherry Renee Owens

Sherry Renee Owens

Teresa Diane Durham

Teresa Diane Durham

Tiffani Page Matthews

Tiffani Page Matthews

Timothy Joseph Myers

Timothy Joseph Myers

Tony Lamar Jenkins

Tony Lamar Jenkins

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has announced multiple arrests today in a drug conspiracy case that involves individuals purchasing Pseudoephedrine that is used in the process of making methamphetamine.

The Sheriff’s Office received assistance today from the police departments in Salem, Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster, and West Union in what is known as “Operation Smurf.” The operation began with a meeting this morning in the 2nd floor training room of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

“The operation today is focusing on those individuals who have over the course of this year purchased Pseudoephedrine for the purposes of making methamphetamine,” according to Lt. Jeremy Chapman, Narcotics and Vice Supervisor of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “The purpose also is to focus on those individuals as well who are purchasing Pseudoephedrine for the purpose of giving the drug to those who are manufacturing (the cooks) meth.”

“Smurfing means individuals who get together and go out and shop around from store to store to purchase Pseudoephedrine for the purposes of manufacturing methamphetamine,” according to Captain Ken Washington of the Special Operations Division of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “These individuals are normally paid in money or drugs that the cook produces.”

According to statistics from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, there have been over 500 Pseudoephedrine purchases by the 31 individuals wanted by the Sheriff’s Office today from the first of January of this year until November 25th. Those 31 individuals were denied 200 Pseudoephedrine purchases during the same time this year. The purchases were made from local stores in Oconee County. The street value of meth that could have been produced is over $100,000. In order for someone to be denied the purchase of Pseudoephedrine, one must have purchased over nine grams of Pseudoephedrine over a thirty day period.

As of 1:30pm, here are the individuals who either have been arrested or are currently in the Oconee County Detention Center and have been served the warrants related to this case. Some individuals have had their records expunged and their names have been removed from this article:

1) Russell Howard Rogers
24 years old
320 Russell Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 3rd or subsequent offense

2) Joyce Thelma Rogers
61 years old
320 Russell Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

3) Dorothy Louise Moody
64 years old
320 Russell Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

4) Sherry Renee Owens
42 years old
320 Russell Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

5) Dustin Wayne Wesley Turpin
25 years old
225 Turpin Hill Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 3rd or subsequent offense
In Jail on Unrelated Charges

6) Richard Smith
45 years old
230 Collins Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

7) James Franklin Ice
30 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Already in Custody on Unrelated Charges

8) Bradley Alan Stenzinger
34 years old
1332 Lake Jemiki Road
Walhalla, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

9) Roger Caness Martin, Jr.
36 years old
615 N. Springwood Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Already in Custody on Unrelated Charges

10) Tony Lamar Jenkins
52 years old
109 Hanvey Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Already in Custody on Unrelated Charges

11) Sheron Nicole Nelon
31 years old
117 Daniel Avenue
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st
Already in Custody on Unrelated Charges

12) Albert Joseph Rogers
47 years old
470 Hillary Lane
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 2nd

13) Evertt Gilbert
30 years old
330 Carmel Ridge Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 2nd

14) Peggy Jo Gibson Eaker
41 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

15)

16) Candice Marie Bull
18 years old
108 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

17) Eldon Jerome Barnes
43 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

18) Tiffani Page Matthews
20 years old
109 Hanvey Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

19) Heath Brent Jenkins
33 years old
109 Hanvey Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

20) Carly Regan Hendricks
25 years old
1036 N. Hunter Street
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

21) Shannon David Powers
34 years old
1104 Alexander Road
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

22) Amber Nichole Eades
25 years old
127 Michelle Lane
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

The following individuals have not been arrested as of 2pm today and are still being sought by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

1) Melissa Mechele Sanders
45 years old
230 Collins Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

2) Bethany Mechele Sanders
20 years old
230 Collins Road
Salem, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

3) Timothy Joseph Myers
32 years old
1036 N. Hunter Street
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 2nd

4) Teresa Diane Durham
46 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

5) Jennifer Beth Hippensteal
31 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

6) Ernest Wayne Hippensteal
35 years old
112 Triangle Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

7) Crystal Nicole Boykin
25 years old
210 Rainbows End Drive
Walhalla, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

8) Alley Elizabeth Eades
22 years old
205 N. Harbour Drive
Seneca, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

9) Greg Daniel Massey
39 years old
710 Crooks Road
Westminster, SC
Conspiracy to Manufacture Meth, 1st

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces the Retirement of Officer P.D. Stanton

Senior Deputy Paul David Stanton

Senior Deputy Paul David Stanton

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has announced the retirement of Senior Deputy Paul David Stanton after more than 30 years in law enforcement. Stanton’s retirement becomes effective today, Friday, November 22nd.

Stanton served 24 years as a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol and after time at Oconee Medical Center in security, Stanton spent the last 13 years as Deputy Sheriff assigned to court house security at the Oconee County Courthouse. Stanton also served the United States as a member of the U.S. Navy.

Stanton was presented a plague Wednesday during a ceremony at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center by Sheriff Mike Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Kevin Davis recognizing the time that Stanton spent as a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office and his time in law enforcement

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Arrest in Friday Night Homicide

Joshua Randall Ferguson

Joshua Randall Ferguson

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in their investigation of a Friday night homicide near Seneca.

According to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, at approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Sheriff Deputies initiated a traffic stop in the Seneca area and placed under arrest 36 year old Joshua Randall Ferguson of 239 A Webb Road in Seneca, who was a passenger in a vehicle. According to investigators, Ferguson lived next door to where the incident occurred. Investigators are obtaining warrants on Ferguson for Murder and Possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He is currently being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a Temporary Custody Order.

Sheriff’s Investigators along with the forensics unit worked through the night processing the crime scene and interviewing potential witnesses.

“The persistence of our officers resulted in an arrest in this case sixteen hours later,” according to Sheriff Crenshaw. “Narcotics agents also assisted in the investigation because a meth lab was discovered at the crime scene. We will not be discussing any apparent motive in this crime in order to protect the integrity of the case. Further details are not appropriate at this time.”

The victim, 46 year old Charles Benson Cantrell of Salem, was an acquaintance of the homeowner at 239 Webb Road where the incident occurred.

“It is believed that the victim was shot with a firearm by the suspect over a disagreement between the two,” says the Sheriff. “Deputies were dispatched to the residence after receiving a call about hearing gunfire. The victim was discovered lying face down in the rear yard of the home.”

According to Sheriff Crenshaw, deputies discovered the man around 9:30pm. According to a press release from Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis, an autopsy will be performed on Sunday.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Continues Investigation of Friday Night Homicide

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation this morning into a homicide that occurred Friday evening near Seneca.

According to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, Oconee County deputies discovered a man lying face down on the ground near a home at 239 Webb Road near Singing Pines Road around 9:30pm. Deputies responded after dispatchers received a 911 call. The victim reportedly died as the result of a gunshot wound and the Sheriff’s Office is treating the case as a homicide. Sheriff’s Office investigators and Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis responded to the scene yesterday evening after the body was discovered.

According to a press release from the Coroner’s office, the victim has been identified as 46 year old Charles Benson Cantrell of Salem, South Carolina. Coroner Addis says that an autopsy will be performed on Sunday.

“Our investigators worked throughout the night and they continue to investigate the case this morning,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “We do not believe at this time that there is any reason for public concern or alarm.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Search for Suspect

Jeffery Allan Couch

Jeffery Allan Couch

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in their search for a man wanted on three separate warrants.

27 year old Jeffery Allan Couch, whose address is listed on warrants as 114 Oak Drive in Walhalla, is wanted on charges of First Degree Burglary, Petit Larceny, and Resisting Arrest.

According to those warrants, Couch is accused of entering a dwelling at 809 Stamp Creek Landing Road in Walhalla “without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein.” Couch is also accused, according to warrants, of carrying away “miscellaneous property” of a value of less than $2,000 from the same Stamp Creek Landing Road address. That incident is said to have occurred sometime between November 3rd and November 10th.

Couch is also accused of resisting arrest in the late afternoon hours of November 11th as he fled from officers at 124 Brandi Lane in Walhalla and ran into some woods nearby.

Couch is a white male, about 6’ tall, around 160 pounds, with a medium build and brown hair and blue eyes.

If you have information on the whereabouts of Jeffery Allan Couch, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (864)638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Man on Variety of Drug Charges

Cory Glenn James

Cory Glenn James

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla area man on Sunday morning on a variety of drug charges after being called to a West Union convenience store.

According to officers, deputies responded to a convenience store on South Highway 11 in West Union in regards to a welfare check on an individual who went into the restroom at the convenience store, had been there for about an hour, and would not respond when people knocked on the door. When officers arrived on the scene, they knocked on the door and heard no response.

When the officers knocked again and announced that they were from the Sheriff’s Office, the individual responded, and upon being asked to by deputies, unlocked the door. As deputies entered the restroom, they found an individual in the restroom disoriented, confused, and wondering why they were there. Deputies then took the individual outside to speak with them further. Deputies asked the subject if he had anything illegal on him, to which he replied “no.” After being asked to empty his pockets, the subject laid items on the hood of the car, but according to officers, there was a white tube that he did not want to lay down. After being asked what the object was, deputies’ report that the subject dropped his head and handed the object to deputies, whereupon deputies discovered the tube contained what appeared to be methamphetamine. After being asked by deputies, the subject confirmed that it was meth.

A K-9 then conducted an outside search of the vehicle. After getting a hit that drugs were inside the vehicle, the subject indicated to deputies that there were some needles inside. After conducting a search inside, deputies found pills which the subject said were valium. Also, some marijuana, meth, and other drug materials and paraphernalia were found.

The subject, 24 year old Cory Glenn James of 320 Falcons Nest Drive in Walhalla, was arrested and charged with possession of 1 gram of less of marijuana, possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine, and possession of valium.

James has been released from the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:24am Monday. His total personal recognizance bond amount was $15,620 on the charges.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Four on Drug Charges

Debbie Lynn Betancourt

Debbie Lynn Betancourt

Derrick Eugene Dixon

Derrick Eugene Dixon

Jena Collier Faboskay

Jena Collier Faboskay

Roger Wayne Chitwood

Roger Wayne Chitwood

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested four individuals Saturday afternoon on a variety of drug charges.

A deputy responded to a wooded area near Stork Way and Wells Highway around 1pm near Seneca in regards to subject who were living in tents. The officer then noticed a trail that led to the campsite and upon arriving at the site, made contact with four individuals, two male and two female.

According to the deputy, the two males were standing next to a milk crate which had a soda bottle on it with an unknown substance inside. When one of the males saw the officer, that subject took the bottle and placed it next to a tree.

The officer also observed drug paraphernalia around the campsite and equipment in a red colored crate that contained equipment to make methamphetamine. The officer asked who did the equipment belong to, when one of the male subjects, a Derrick Eugene Dixon, spoke up and said the equipment, as well as the campsite were his. He also told the officer that he would take ownership as well of the crystal like substance located in a glass jar on the campfire.

After obtaining consent to search, the officer found in Mr. Dixon’s tent clear plastic baggies that contained a crystal like substance, which Dixon informed the deputy belonged to him. Another deputy and agents from the narcotics division arrived later on, where the jar and plastic baggies were collected and placed into evidence. The four individuals were then arrested and taken to the Oconee County Detention Center.

Arrested were 33 year old Derrick Eugene Dixon of 111 Chauga Road in Westminster, 39 year old Debbie Lynn Betancourt of 325 Edens Lane in Seneca, 33 year old Roger Wayne Chitwood of 222 Smokey Trail in Westminster, and 31 year old Jena Collier Faboskay of 1101 Goddard Avenue in Seneca. Chitwood was booked at the Detention Center around 6:41pm Saturday evening, Dixon was booked around 6:48pm and Betancourt and Faboskay were booked around 7:46pm.

Uniform traffic tickets were issued against all four individuals for littering and for violating the counties drug paraphernalia ordinance. According to warrants, Dixon was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine, while Betancourt, Chitwood, and Faboskay were all charged according to warrants with manufacturing methamphetamine. Betancourt also had an outstanding bench warrant for shoplifting from the city of Westminster.

At this time, all four individuals are still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center, where the total bond amounts for Chitwood, Betancourt, and Faboskay are $21,000 for each, while the total bond amount for Dixon is $31,000. All the bonds for all the individuals are surety bonds.