Monthly Archives: July 2016

Portions of Dr. John’s Road Scheduled to be Closed Next Week

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–The South Carolina Department of Transportation has announced that a portion of Dr. John’s Road in Oconee County is scheduled to be closed next week.
The closure will take placed from Brock Road to the bridge and is scheduled to begin Monday, August 1st and may last until Friday, August 5th.
Detours will be set up near Yellow Bell Road and Brock Road.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and Safe Kids Upstate Provide Safety Reminders Regarding Hot Vehicles and Children

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–With the nationwide recognition of National Heatstroke Prevention Day coming up this Sunday, July 31st, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and Safe Kids Upstate are partnering together to remind citizens about hot vehicles and the dangers of children being trapped inside.

“So far as of today, there have been 23 reported deaths in the United States of children who have died in hot vehicles,” according to Daby Snipes with Safe Kids Upstate. “While most of the deaths that have occurred have been due to children being left in hot vehicles, statistics show that 30% of children who die are children who enter unlocked vehicles to play and can’t find their way out.”

“At Safe Kids Upstate, we would like to remind everyone never to leave your children alone in the car, even for just a moment and when you exit your vehicle, make sure everyone is out and to lock your vehicles,” continues Mrs. Snipes. “If you child is unrestrained, teach them to blow the horn in case they are in the vehicle and can’t get out.”

Mrs. Snipes also reminds everyone that they can help protect kids by remembering to ACT:

A: Avoid Heatstroke by never leaving your child alone in a car
C: Create reminders.
T: Take action by calling 9ll if you see a child alone in a car. One call could save a life.

Sheriff Mike Crenshaw encourages citizens to call 911 immediately if you see a child alone in motor vehicle. The same would also apply for animals left inside a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for temperatures inside a vehicle to reach excessive levels on a hot summer day.

Keeping your vehicles always locked is also a good crime prevention way to deter theft, according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Armed Robbery Charges

Jalen Malia Hughes

Jalen Malia Hughes

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man early yesterday on two charges related to an armed robbery.

19 year old Jalen Malia Hughes of June Street was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:01am on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained later Thursday.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on South King Street in the Seneca area in regards to a reported armed robbery. As the investigation commenced, the deputy spoke with the victim who lives at the residence and was told that the victim and Hughes were watching a movie when Hughes asked the victim if the victim had any marijuana.

The victim then stated that Hughes stood up and produced a firearm and pointed it at the victim. The victim said that Hughes reportedly took the victim’s wallet and then assaulted the victim. A struggle then ensued, in which the magazine from the gun reportedly fell on the floor. Hughes then reportedly ran out of the front door, dropping his vehicle keys on the front porch and ran up the road.

Hughes later was discovered by the deputy to be an occupant in a vehicle that pulled up to the residence. Hughes was asked to exit the vehicle and then was turned over to investigators from the Criminal Investigations Division.

Deputies later met up near the incident location, upon which after a search discovered the firearm in question.

According to the arrest warrants obtained by the Sheriff’s Office, Hughes has been charged with Armed Robbery for, according to the warrant, attempting to take a wallet and of taking a quantity of marijuana from the victim.

Hughes has also been charged with Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime.

The Armed Robbery charge is a felony that carries a penalty of 10 to 30 years in prison. The Possession of a Weapon charge is also a felony that carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

Hughes was released from the Detention Center yesterday after posting bond. He was given a combined $40,000 surety bond on the two charges.

Local Teenager Distributes Paracord Braclets in Support of Law Enforcement and Public Safety Workers

Paracord Braclet

From L - R: Tyler Orr and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

From L – R: Tyler Orr and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–15 year old Tyler Orr is a rising junior at Walhalla High School who has a desire to become a law enforcement officer in the next few years.

This passion for becoming an officer has led Tyler to take classes in the Criminal Justice Program at the Hamilton Career Center and to attend the Nathan M. Wolfe Cadet Academy at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy this summer.

With the recent incidents around the country that has led to the deaths of law enforcement officers, Tyler has and continues to show his support for officers and all first responder and public safety workers by making paracord bracelets, which his grandmother showed him how to make.

The bracelets are black in color with a thin blue line of material in the middle. Tyler has been financing the making of the bracelets himself through money that he earns.

The bracelets, which Tyler says takes about 15 minutes to make per bracelet, have been given to Fire Fighters, Dispatchers and Detention Center Officers, plus, Law Enforcement Officers as well. Just a few days ago, Tyler brought by some of the bracelets to officers with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, including one made for Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.

Tyler even has a Facebook page for the paracord bracelets that he makes called “Paracord Products for Emergency Services.”

The bracelets are free to all Fire Fighters, Dispatchers, Detention Center and Law Enforcement Officers and are $5 each for everyone else.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Offering Boater Education Class in Clemson on August 4th

Boater Ed Class - August 4th, 2016

(Walhalla, SC)——————-The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will be offering an upcoming boater education class on Thursday, August 4, from 9am-3pm at the Clemson DNR Office located at 311 Natural Resources Drive, Clemson.

All resident and non-resident boaters under 16 years of age must successfully complete a boater education course that is approved by the SC Department of Natural Resources before operating without supervision a personal watercraft (jet ski) or a boat powered by 15 hp motor or more.

Participants must pre-register at www.dnr.sc.gov and clicking on the boater education icon or by calling 1.800.277.4301 or 803.734.4491.

It’s first come, first served and is a free event.

All children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The minimum age to take the exam and be certified is 10.

This boater ed class will probably be the last of instructor-led classes offered locally before we start back-up with hunter education classes, but the self-study version of boater education is offered online year round for $29.50.

CVS/pharmacy and The Partnership For Drug-Free Kids Helps Oconee County Combat Drug Abuse and Safer Disposal of Unused Medication

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office receives grant for Drug Collection Unit

Prescription Disposal Bin Picture

Release Courtesy of Joanna Dwyer
CVS Pharmacy

(Walhalla, SC)– The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announced today that it has been awarded a grant from CVS/pharmacy to install a Drug Collection Unit. The new Unit will be located at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla and will provide residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances.
The new Unit is intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in residents’ homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers. More than 70 percent of teenagers say it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets, according to a 2014 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids study.
The new Unit will also help Oconee County Sheriff’s Office prevent the contamination of local landfills and water supplies from unused medication.
“Safely disposing of unused medication is critical to protecting our children and our environment,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy and we thank them for their commitment to help residents reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in our community.”
The new Drug Collection Unit represents one of 1,000 Units CVS/pharmacy and The Medicine Abuse Project (MAP), a five-year initiative of The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, are providing across the country. This innovative donation program is the largest retail pharmacy effort of its kind to date and supports MAP’s goal to prevent a half million teenagers from abusing prescription medication by the year 2017. CVS/pharmacy is the sole retail pharmacy sponsor of this program, which builds on the company’s Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program.
“CVS/pharmacy is dedicated to collaborating with organizations like The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and local law enforcement to prevent the abuse of unwanted and expired medication,” said Josh Flum, Senior Vice President of Retail Pharmacy at CVS Health. “The installment of drug collection receptacles is part of our ongoing commitment to battle prescription drug abuse in the U.S. and to help people in the communities we serve on their path to better health.”
CVS/pharmacy also assists law enforcement by supporting local drug take back events and promoting local drug disposal collection sites. CVS/pharmacy has conducted drug collection campaigns utilizing their retail locations, including several National Drug Take Back Day events. Law enforcement agencies which operate their own on-going collection site programs can also arrange to have the address and hours of their operations posted in local CVS/pharmacy stores.
The new Drug Collection Unit site is open to the public from the hours of 8:30am until 4:30pm Monday thru Friday and drugs can be dropped off with no questions asked. Oconee County residents and CVS/pharmacy customers can also inquire about the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program at the toll free phone number 1-866-559-8830 or visit www.cvs.com/safercommunities.
About CVS/pharmacy
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America’s leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,700 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores in the U.S. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Health is available at www.cvshealth.com.
About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and supporting families impacted by addiction. We develop public education campaigns that drive awareness of teen substance abuse, and lead teen-targeted efforts that inspire young people to make positive decisions to stay healthy and avoid drugs and alcohol. On our website, drugfree.org, and through our toll-free helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), we provide families with direct support and guidance to help them address teen substance abuse. Finally, we build healthy communities, advocating for great access to adolescent treatment and funding for youth prevention programs. As a national nonprofit, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and are thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.
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Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Kentucky Man on Multiple Child Sex Charges

Daniel William McElreath

Daniel William McElreath

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Central City, Kentucky man last Friday on multiple child sex charges.

46 year old Daniel William McElreath of North Second Street was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:22pm. MeElreath was arrested in Kentucky on July 12th and was extradited back to Oconee County.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was contacted by phone during the evening hours of July 8th from a victim of a reported sexual assault who was interested in filing a report. The victim told the deputy that the sexual abuse occurred during a time when the victim was 8 or 9 years old. The abuse continued on different occasions until the year 2005, according to the victim and took place at multiple addresses, all of which were in the Westminster area.

At that time, an investigation began and was turned over the Criminal Investigations Division and the Child/Elder abuse investigator, Tim Rice.

As the investigation continued and evidence was collected and individuals interviewed, it was determined that McElreath has sexually assaulted the victim during the time period from January 1st 2001 thru December 31st, 2002, January 1st, 2004 thru December 31st, 2004 and from June 1st, 2005 thru September 31st, 2005. McElreath also forced the victim to watch sexually explicit material on electronic devices in the year 2005.

The case involves only one female victim, according to investigators.

McElreath was denied bond on all five charges, which include three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Victim Under the Age of Eleven – First Degree, one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Victim between the Ages of 11 to 14 – Second Degree and one count of Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor 12 years of age or younger. The charges are all considered felonies and were obtained by Sgt. Rice.

McElreath remains in custody at the Detention Center and would be required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of bond.

The three charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Victim under the Age of Eleven – First Degree carries a penalty of 25 years or Life for each charge.

The charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Victim between the ages of 11 and 14 – Second Degree carries a penalty of not more than 20 years.

The charges of Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor 12 years or younger carries a penalty of not more than 15 years.

The Sheriff’s Office was not aware of the allegations until the victim filed a report with this agency on July 8th of this year.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Woman on Two Drug Related Charges

Brenna Graham

Brenna Graham

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca woman today on two warrants charging her with exposing her children in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

20 year old Brenna Michelle Graham of Knollcrest Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 2:30pm on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained today charging her with two counts of Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the Presence of a Minor Child.

Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division conducted a welfare check just after 10am this morning, based on a tip, at the Knollcrest Drive residence. Deputies made contact with Graham at the residence and observed drug paraphernalia in plain view. Deputies discovered children, ages 11 months and 1 month old inside of the residence.

A search warrant was obtained and executed at the residence where multiple methamphetamine labs were located. As a result, the two children were taken into Emergency Protective Custody and were turned over to the Department of Social Services, where they are being placed in a safe environment.

Graham was placed into custody and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center. Warrants against Graham were obtained by Sgt. Tim Rice, Child/Elder Abuse Investigator of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

Graham remains in custody at this time pending a bond hearing.

Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the Presence of a Minor Child is a felony and each charge carries a penalty of not more than 5 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $5,000.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Couple on Unlawful Neglect of a Child Charges

Leslie Nicole McCoy

Leslie Nicole McCoy

Teddy Douglas McCoy, Jr.

Teddy Douglas McCoy, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster couple yesterday on one count each of Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

34 year old Teddy Douglas McCoy, Jr. and 28 year old Leslie Nicole McCoy, both of Thompson Lane, were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:18am and 9:55am respectively.

On May 31st, an agent from the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division received a call from an employee of the Department of Social Services regarding positive drug screens on the suspects as well as their two children, ages four and three. Copies of the drug screens were sent to the agent and an investigation began.

As the investigation continued and evidence was gathered and interviews conducted, arrest warrants were obtained against both parents. According to arrest warrants, both parents as well as both children tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Also according to the arrest warrants, the incident occurred at the Thompson Lane address.

The children have been placed in a safe environment, according to Narcotics Agents.

Both parents were released from the Detention Center yesterday on $10,000 personal recognizance bonds each.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warning Residents of Reported Summer Promotions Scam

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a reported summer promotions scam after a citizen contacted Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt.

“The citizen who contacted me said they were contacted by telephone saying a representative was in the area and asked the victim if they could stop by,” says PIO Watt. “According to the victim, what was being offered was a special summer promotion on Hilton Hotel packages. The next day, a representative stopped by and presented the package.”

The victim told PIO Watt that the offer was a two night stay at any Hilton or affiliate hotel for only $59.95 and all that was required was a reservation through them anywhere from 10 to 30 days in advance. Apparently, the victim was told they could be four nights for $99 or six nights for $150. The victim decided on the $150 package. The address on the brochures is in the Myrtle Beach area.

The victim realized the possibility of a scam when the e-mail on the business card she received from the representative bounced back to her. The victim then phoned the number on the brochures and left a voice message but never got a response back. The victim called and left another message but still no response.

The victim called a third time and left a message stating that law enforcement would be contacted. The victim received a call back but was told that it was too late to make a reservation for a holiday week. The victim booked a reservation again for a non-holiday week and was told that an e-mail confirmation would be sent by the end of the week but that never happened.

“The victim believes that this is a scam and does not want others to fall for what appears to be a scam,” continues PIO Watt. “I have recommended to the victim to contact the Sheriff’s Office and to file a case report since it appears that money appears to be lost. We normally recommend that individuals don’t respond in any way or hang on up individuals who appear to be scamming them or are offering deals that sound too good to be true. However, if assets are lost or personal information is compromised, we recommend that they contact their local law enforcement agency and have paperwork placed on file.

“Once again, we remind our citizens that if an offer sounds too good to be true than more often than not it is and to ignore these deals,” says PIO Watt.