Monthly Archives: June 2014

Plenty of Independence Day Activities Around the Golden Corner

4th of July

Oconee State Park - Swim Area

Oconee State Park – Swim Area

4th of July - Hillbilly Day - Mountain Rest

4th of July – Hillbilly Day – Mountain Rest

4th of July - South Cove Parade

4th of July – South Cove Parade

Independence Eve - Walhalla

Independence Eve – Walhalla

July 4th - TAMS - Seneca

July 4th – TAMS – Seneca

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–As the United States celebrates its 238th birthday this Friday, July 4th, there are plenty of activities for all ages around the Golden Corner on Thursday and Friday.

The Independence Day activities begin on Thursday evening, July 3rd, with Independence Eve in Walhalla, which begins at 6pm at the Walhalla Soccer Field. Admission is free to the event, and there will be food booths, games and music, plus fireworks shortly after 9pm. For more information on this event, visit walhallachamber.com.

July 4th itself brings four different activities to celebrate our nation’s birthday. First, there is Hillbilly Day in Mountain Rest, which is the longest running annual festival in South Carolina. Hillbilly Day begins at 9am and runs until 3pm with free parking and admission and plenty of activities for the whole family, including bluegrass, gospel music and clogging.

At Oconee State Park just off Highway 107, the Day of Fun begins at 10am with Field Day games and water events in the afternoon. For more information on this event, please visit www.southcarolina parks.com.

South Cove Park in Seneca will also be hosting 4th of July activities this Friday, with an inflatable water slide and a golf cart parade. Food vendors will be open starting a mid-day until the fireworks start, which begins at 10:30pm.

In the city of Seneca, the 4th of July celebration in Seneca begins at 4pm with gates opening at Gignilliat Field. The headline act for the events in Seneca will be the Tams, who will take the stage starting sometime after 8pm. Groove Planet and The Jamie Wright Experience will open. Fireworks will follow around 9:15pm. For more information on this event, visit www.seneca.sc.us.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Drug Charges

William Andrew Craig, Jr.

William Andrew Craig, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man on Friday afternoon on manufacturing marijuana charges.

31 year old William Andrew Craig, Jr. of 1236 Burns Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:18pm.

A deputy responded to the Burns Drive location during the lunch hour Friday in response to a call from DSS, who responded to the address due to a complaint that they received. The DSS representative informed the deputy of what appeared to be a marijuana plant growing in a flower pot beside the home.

The representative was not allowed to do a walkthrough of the residence and was asked to leave by Craig, Jr. A deputy responded and spoke with Craig, Jr. and another person at the residence. The deputy was given permission to search the residence and the vehicle on the property. The search revealed what appeared to be six marijuana plants in a trash bag in the trunk of the vehicle.

Craig, Jr. told the deputy that the plants were his and he was the only one who knew about the plants. Craig, Jr. was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center. The evidence was turned over the narcotics agents of the Sheriff’s Office.

Craig, Jr. was released after a bond hearing on Saturday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Additional Charges Involving Minors

Harold Fincannon

Harold Fincannon

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–A Westminster man who was arrested last year on multiple lewd act charges involving a child and was out on bond was arrested yesterday on additional charges involving a minor that resulted from the initial investigation.

75 year old Harold G. Fincannon, who address on warrants is listed as 123 Eastwood Circle, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:18pm after being arrested in the Myrtle Beach area and then transported back to Oconee County.

On August 2nd, 2013, Fincannon was arrested on 4 counts of a lewd act upon a child in an investigation that began with a phone call by an individual who made the allegations against Fincannon. The warrants in the initial case charge Fincannon with inappropriately touching a minor female on occasions between August 2nd of 1999 and August 1st of 2003. Those charges involved only one victim and occurred when the victim was between the ages of four and eight years old and occurred at the Eastwood Circle address. The total bond amount on those four charges was $100,000 surety bond.

During the course of the initial investigation, new allegations against Fincannon came to light by a second victim. As the course of that investigation continued, Fincannon was charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – First Degree and one count of a Lewd Act upon a Child. The warrants in that case alleges that inappropriately touched the victim on occasions between January 17th, 1980 and January 17th, 1981 when the victim was between the ages of seven and eight years old. Those charges involve only one victim and occurred at an address on Fincannon Road.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking Westminster Man on Manufacturing Meth Charges

Matthew Blake Sosby

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 Westminster man on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.

40 year old Matthew Blake Sosby of 413 Jack Pelfrey Road is wanted on a warrant signed on June 19th regarding an incident that occurred on previous day, in which an Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Jack Pelfrey Road address to assist Probation, Parole and Pardon units with a check of an individual that is on probation that lives at the residence, which is Sosby himself.

Once on the scene, PPP officials were met by three individuals at the door of the residence, none of which was Sosby. Probation officials began to search the residence, in which they found several guns and also what appeared to be some shake and bake meth lab bottles and other drug paraphernalia. Narcotics officers from the Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene and found the meth labs. The guns were seized and the narcotics officers contacted SLED regarding a lab clean up. Sosby was not found.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Matthew Blake Sosby is 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.

Additions to Social Media Policy for Oconee County Sheriff’s Office

Please be aware of additions to our Social Media policy, effective immediately:

Opinions expressed by visitors to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Social Media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and You Tube) do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the men and women who are employed by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. Posts are monitored and the Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to remove any posts that contain obscenities, off-topic comments, personal attacks or are slanderous or libel in nature. Posted comments are subject to public disclosure.
The Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to block any individuals who habitually violate the policy stated above.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Receives Donation from “Mayberry Comes To Westminster”

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw and "Mayberry Comes To Westminster" Founder Tom Rusk

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw and “Mayberry Comes To Westminster” Founder Tom Rusk

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office received a donation last Friday from the “Mayberry Comes To Westminster” festival to be used in drug education at schools in Oconee County.

In front of the Sheriff’s Office and the Mayberry patrol car, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw accepted the donation on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office from Tom Rusk, who is the organizer of the yearly festival that celebrates “The Andy Griffith Show.”

The donation amount, $500, will go toward educational supplies to teach students in the school system of Oconee County about the dangers of drug abuse. The money was raised during this year festival, which was held this past May 2nd and May 3rd.

The 2015 5th annual “Mayberry Comes To Westminster” will be held on May 1st and 2nd in downtown Westminster.

Landline and Internet Outage in the Keowee Key Area

Information Courtesy of Scott Krein
Director of Emergency Management
Rescue Chief
Oconee County

Oconee County Emergency Services has been notified of a possible long term landline and internet outage in the Keowee Key area in Oconee County. The present estimated time for repair could be as late as Thursday morning June 26th.

All residents should be reminded that your landline phone and internet service thru AT&T may be out affecting Medic alert systems, fire alarms, and other systems in your home and business.

At the present time cell phone coverage in the area is working. If you need to call 911 use your cell phone. If you don’t have one, notify your neighbor. Also, Keowee Fire Station is staffed 24 hours a day for any assistance needed.

Scott Krein
Director of Emergency Management
Rescue Chief

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two Fair Play Men in Reported Theft from New Walhalla High School

Brandon Rodney Wheeler

Brandon Rodney Wheeler

Keith Alan Schlachter

Keith Alan Schlachter

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men yesterday evening on charges related to theft of materials from the construction site of the new Walhalla High School yesterday.

32 year old Brandon Scott Wheeler of 1251 Highway 59 was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:19pm yesterday. The second man, 43 year old Keith Alan Schlachter of 124 Ruby Road, was booked into the Detention Center around 9:16pm.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle around 6:45pm yesterday on Highway 11 between Scenic Heights Baptist Church and Dollar General. The deputy discovered a trailer on the side of the road near Dollar General that had a tire that had blown out. The trailer was loaded with rebar and other building materials.

A witness saw the suspects leave from the construction site with the trailer and unhook it on the side of the road. That witness called the Sheriff’s Office and reported the incident.

While looking at the materials, the deputy noticed a packing slip with the name of the construction company handling construction at the construction site of the new Walhalla High School plus the address on the slip of the new school.

A second deputy discovered the suspects’ vehicle at the Ingles in West Union. According to the incident report, the suspects’ stories did not match up. The suspects, Wheeler and Schlachter, stated they had permission to take the materials but a check with officials from the construction company stated that no one gave them permission. The deputies had verified that the materials came from the construction site of the new high school.

Wheeler and Schlachter were then transported to the Detention Center and the vehicle in the Ingles parking lot was towed.

Warrants charge both Schlachter and Wheeler with Grand Larceny. The value of the items taken, according to warrants, is around $3,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests One, Seeks Another in Wednesday Evening Incident

Keri Anne Gibson Messick

Keri Anne Gibson Messick

John Harvey Hunter

John Harvey Hunter

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Spartanburg man on multiple charges and is seeking a North Carolina woman in an incident in Oconee County Wednesday evening.

26 year old John Harvey Hunter of 458 North Church Street in Spartanburg was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:02am Thursday morning. He has been charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, Possessing a Weapon and not being authorized to do so (the weapon was reported stolen from Greenville County) and Giving False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer. He was also cited on a uniform traffic ticker for Public Disorderly Conduct. Deputies are seeking 21 year old Keri Anne Gibson Messick of 304 Birch Street in Lowell, North Carolina on outstanding warrants of Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, Possessing a Weapon and not being authorized to do so, Resisting Arrest, and Public Disorderly Conduct.

Deputies responded around 10:15pm to the Bountyland Quik Stop location on Highway 123 near Old Clemson Highway in response to reports of a disturbance between a male and female in a vehicle near the gas pumps. When deputies arrived, the female, Messick, ran into the store while the male, Hunter, was seated in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. According to the incident report, Hunter was reportedly belligerent toward one of the deputies. The female eventually came out of the store, where she told a deputy that she and Hunter had gotten into an argument while driving down the road and when they pulled into the business, the argument continued. Messick told the deputy that Hunter reportedly had spit at her but had not physically harmed her.

Hunter continued to be belligerent with the officers on scene, appeared to be nervous and tried to continue to argue with Messick, according to the incident report. Hunter gave the deputies a false name but could not provide identification. Messick provided deputies with her name and date of birth but did not have any identification. Hunter told deputies that he and Messick had gotten into an argument and he asked to get out of the vehicle but she refused to allow him to do so.

An employee of the store told deputies that both subjects were in a heated argument inside the store and used profanity while inside, at which point they were asked to leave.

Deputies tried to identify Hunter through SCDMV records, but after discovering a conflict, Hunter refused to cooperate and asked for a lawyer. Deputies then tried to identify Messick through the same method but no records were found in South Carolina. After an additional officer arrived on scene, both subjects were placed under arrest for public disorderly conduct. As she was being placed under arrest, Messick ran from officer towards Highway 76 where she eventually eluded officers in the woods across the road.

A wrecker was called and an inventory of the vehicle was conducted by deputies, where deputies discovered a hand gun concealed in the back seat on the driver’s side near where Hunter had been sitting. A check of the firearm revealed that it was stolen out of Greenville County. Ammunition that did not match the caliber of the firearm discovered was also found but no other contraband was discovered. The vehicle was towed and Hunter was transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

During the booking process, Hunter told deputies that he had swallowed some heroin before deputies arrived at the incident location at Bountyland Quik Stop. Hunter was then transported to Oconee Medical Center. He also provided deputies with his correct name and birthdate.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Keri Anne Gibson-Messick is 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.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Multiple Criminal Sexual Conduct Counts

Jaimie Sabio Obregon

Jaimie Sabio Obregon

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man yesterday on multiple charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor.

68 year old Jaimie Sabio Obregon of 124 Morgan Lane in Seneca was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:54pm yesterday on 4 charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – First Degree and 2 charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Second Degree. The incident involves only one female victim and occurred at the Morgan Lane address.

An Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy received a phone call from a concerned citizen on Monday, March 31st regarding a possible sexual assault case involving a minor. It is alleged that these allegations were reported prior to March 31st to officials at Blue Ridge Elementary School. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

As the course of the investigation continued, it was determined by investigators that Obregon sexually assaulted the minor female various times during the dates of February 18th, 2013 to February 17th, 2014 when the victim was ten years old, which constitutes the first degree charges. Obregon is also accused of sexually assaulting the same female juvenile various times during the dates of February 18th, 2014 to March 31st, 2014 when the victim was between the ages of 11 and 14, which constitutes the second degree charges.

The victim in this case has been in a safe environment during the course of the Sheriff’s Office investigation.

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