Monthly Archives: November 2016

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides December 2016 Scam Update

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–In our continuing efforts to educate and inform our citizens on scams and how not to be a victim, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing this December 2016 scam update release.

The Sheriff’s Office has been receiving calls from our citizens in the last few days regarding an individual calling them claiming to be from law enforcement, in particular the Sheriff’s Office, informing them that either they missed jury duty or they had outstanding tickets or outstanding warrants.

In one case on November 28th, a citizen received a call from someone claiming to be Sgt. Jerry Campbell from the Sheriff’s Office, who informed the caller that they had missed jury duty and needed to pay a fine of several hundred dollars.

The person claiming to be the officer told the victim that they could go to Walgreens and purchase a prepaid card to pay the fine. While at Walgreens, the victim called the Sheriff’s Office to verify the information given and the victim was told by the Sheriff’s Office that it was a scam.

However, the victim informed the deputy that a call had already been made to the false officer and numbers from the card had been given to this false officer.

Another citizen contacted the Sheriff’s Office on November 29th to report that they had received a call from someone named Sgt. Gambrell claiming that he was from the warrants division.

A call to the number provided to deputies was answered by a Sgt. Gambrell but the call was terminated after a deputy asked the false officer which agency he worked with. The call to the number provided was placed by the Public Information Officer, Jimmy Watt, in the presence of Captain Greg Reed from the Criminal Investigations Division

“As we have said on numerous occasions, if law enforcement has outstanding warrants on a person, then law enforcement has the right to place them under arrest,” says PIO Watt. “However, the Sheriff’s Office or any law enforcement agency will not call an individual and ask for money directly to excuse a lawfully obtained arrest warrant or to cover costs of tickets or to pay any type of fines. All fines as it relates to court costs or tickets are handled during the adjudication process but a deputy does not handle any type of financial transactions such as this.”

Also, the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind everyone that if someone asks for payment via a prepaid card and/or an iTunes card, it is more than likely a scam. Legitimate businesses do not require this as a payment for services. Also, once the PIN numbers on the card is given, then money is normally lost and almost impossible to retrieve.

“Also, the Sheriff’s Office does not have any employees with the name of Jerry Campbell or an employee with the last name of Gambrell,” says PIO Watt.

PIO Watt was also notified by dispatch in reference to a scam that has perpetrated before concerning victims being called from someone claiming to be from a technology company and needing access to the victim’s computer. The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone not to allow anyone remote accesses to your computer unless you initiate the call to the technology company yourself.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Tamassee Man on Trafficking Methamphetamine Charges

Gregory Carl Peay

Gregory Carl Peay

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Tamassee man yesterday on charges of Trafficking in Methamphetamine.

53 year old Gregory Carl Peay of Sputnick Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:37am on a Temporary Custody Order until an arrest warrant was obtained.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was dispatched yesterday morning to George Todd Road in Tamassee in regards to a report of a suspicious vehicle. When the deputy arrived on the scene, he located a blue in color Chevrolet Z71 pickup sitting partially in the roadway, occupied by the Peay subject.

The deputy knocked on the window of the truck, upon which Peay awoke and opened the driver’s side door. The deputy, along with paramedics, checked on Peay to make sure that he was okay medically.

During the course of the check-up, drug paraphernalia was discovered in the seat that Peay was occupying. During the course of the investigation that began, other drug paraphernalia was discovered as well as a black pouch inside of the vehicle which contained a quantity of baggies that contained a quantity of a crystal like substance that appeared to be Methamphetamine.

Peay was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center as the vehicle was towed from the scene.

As of 10am this morning, Peay remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Operation Infinity Arrests over the Thanksgiving Weekend

Andrew Jonathan Roach

Andrew Jonathan Roach

Danielle Delphine Lawrence

Danielle Delphine Lawrence

Jerri Ann Childs

Jerri Ann Childs

Michael Dyshawn Gamble

Michael Dyshawn Gamble

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office made four drug arrests over the Thanksgiving weekend related to previous Operation Infinity drug sweeps.

Below is the information on the four arrests that were made:

1) Michael Dyshawn Gamble
Clemson, SC
40 years old
Distribution of Marijuana – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:39am on Wednesday, November 23rd
Released from the Detention Center on November 23rd on a combined $25,000 personal recognizance bond
Gamble also was booked in on an additional arrest warrant from the Seneca Police Department
Gamble was wanted as part of the 13th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on April 29th, 2016. His arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to sixteen

2) Danielle Delphine Lawrence
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Unlawful Neglect of a Child – 2 counts
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:16am on Thursday, November 24th after being transported from the Anderson County Detention Center
Released from the Detention Center on November 24th on a combined $30,000 personal recognizance bond
Lawrence was wanted as part the 13th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on April 29th, 2016. Her arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to seventeen

3) Andrew Jonathan Roach
Seneca, SC
26 years old
Distribution of Marijuana – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:44pm on Friday, November 25th
Released from the Detention Center on November 25th on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond
Roach was wanted as part of the 12th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on December 3rd, 2015. His arrests brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to eighteen

4) Jerri Ann Childs
Anderson, SC
37 years old
Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Dibutylone) – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:52pm on Thursday, November 24th after Oconee County deputies picked up Childs who was custody by Anderson County deputies
Released from the Detention Center on November 25th on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond
Childs was wanted as part of the 14th Operation Infinity drug sweep that commenced on August 25th, 2016. Her arrest brings the number of those arrested as part of that sweep to twenty-two

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Illinois Man on Multiple Charges, Including Pointing and Presenting a Firearm

Joshua Huskins

Joshua Huskins

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Hampshire, IL man on multiple charges yesterday, including four counts of Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.

33 year old Joshua Huskins of Elizabeth Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:36pm.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a parking lot of a business on
Sandifer Boulevard just before 7pm in regards to a reported altercation involving a firearm.

The deputy made contact with the suspect, identified as Huskins, in the parking lot after receiving information from witnesses, who were the victims in the case, that provided a description of the suspect and the vehicle the suspect was in.

As the investigation commenced, Huskins appeared to be intoxicated, according the deputy, and used profanity and raised his voice to the point in which it was noticeable to individuals who were passing by.

The deputy also spoke with the victim’s in the case and obtained statements from them, in which they told the deputy that Huskins had used a racial slur against two of them and had presented a firearm that he waved in the presence of the four in a threatening manner.

Based upon evidence gathered in the investigation, Huskins was placed under arrest and transported to the Detention Center and placed on a Temporary Custody Order.

In warrants obtained today, Huskins was charged with one count of Breach of Peace – Aggravated in Nature as well as the four counts of Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.

Huskins remains in custody at the Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Additional Arrest in Fifteenth “Operation Infinity” Drug Round-Up

Wesley Nathan Finley

Wesley Nathan Finley

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing an additional arrest today in the fifteenth “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up that began on November 3rd.

The Sheriff’s Office began the operation with a meeting and briefing at 8:30am that morning. The Sheriff’s Office teamed up with our law enforcement partners from the Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster and West Union Police Departments.

In all, 27 individuals are being sought on a variety of drug charges involving methamphetamine, prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana. Some individuals in this drug sweep are being sought on charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child as well as charges for attempts to purchase pseudoephedrine above the legal limits allowed.

As of November 23rd, 16 individuals had been arrested so far and/or were already in jail and will or have been served their warrants. The additional arrest brings to 17 the total number of individuals arrested so far as of 11:00am today. Here is the name of the additional individual arrested and their charges according to warrants:

1) Wesley Nathan Finley
West Union, SC
27 years old
Distribution of Ice (Methamphetamine) – 2 counts
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on November 22nd around 3:04pm
As of 1:30pm today, Finley remains in custody at the Detention Center on a combined $30,000 surety bond.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation and due to that fact, the names of the other individuals being sought will not be released at this time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides Tips for Thanksgiving Travel, Black Friday and Property Protection

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————With the busiest travel day of the year for motorists tomorrow and the busiest shopping day of the year this Friday, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is providing some tips to help keep you safe over the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend.

AAA Carolinas is reporting that 670,000 South Carolinians with be traveling 50 or more miles from home, with many of those traveling by vehicle with Wednesday and Sunday being the days in which the most traffic is anticipated. Saturday will also be extremely busy due to fans traveling to and from Clemson due to the Carolina – Clemson game Saturday.

“Gasoline prices are higher than they were at this time last year, but according to AAA Carolinas, those traveling this Thanksgiving is expected to be 1.9 percent higher than last year,” according to Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “There are a few things you can do before you hit the road to help make your vehicle safe. Obviously make sure you vehicle is ready for travel by making sure that your tires are properly inflated and all your vehicle fluids are full. Second, plan out your trip and make sure that you know what route you will be taking and make sure your family and friends are aware of the route you will be traveling. Make sure you cell phones have a full battery as well in case you have to call for help.”

“Once you are on the roads, try to leave as early as you can on Wednesday,” says PIO Watt. “Traffic volume will increase as the day goes along, with the peak travel time between noon and 7pm, especially along the interstates and main highways. Also, anticipate an increased law enforcement presence and with the increased traffic volume, the potential for accidents goes up. Finally, be patient. Many people will be using the same roads you do so be courteous. Then, everyone will be returning home on Sunday so expect some heavy traffic volume then and continue to exercise caution and patience. Of course, as you celebrate with family and friends, don’t drink and drive and if you do, make sure you have a designated driver. Also, make sure all those in your vehicle are wearing their seatbelts, watch your speed and obey all traffic laws.”

In regards to shopping on Black Friday, some retailers will be opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day, not just early Friday morning. There is always the potential for theft and you may want to be prepared for the possibility that stores may have increased security measures in place.

With that in mind, Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw offers the following safety tips to increase your safety and decrease your chances of becoming a victim of a crime.

-Don’t buy more than you can carry. Bring along a friend to help, or ask an employee or another shopper for assistance when carrying packages to your car.

-Shop with only one credit card. It simplifies canceling purchases. Credit cards are considered generally safer than debit cards, especially when shopping online.

-Never leave your purse, wallet or phone unattended. Deter pickpockets by holding these items close to your person.

-Have your keys in hand when approaching your car, and remember to check the backseat before getting in.

-Have a plan for meeting at a pre-designated area in case you become separated from your children.

-Put purchases in the trunk if making multiple stops.

-Notify law enforcement or a store employee if you see an unattended bag or package.

-Obey The Laws… Drive the speed limit, stop at stop signs and don’t park in handicap spots. Be mindful of pedestrians, especially children.

In a recent press release on how to protect your residences and property during the holiday season, the Sheriff’s Office offered the following safety tips:

1. Make sure your burglar alarm system is activated before leaving and putting signs and window decals of an alarm system on your windows. Many alarm companies have aps and information on their websites that allow those who are away to monitor their alarm systems while they are away.

2. Make sure your exterior motion lights are working, especially at the corners of a residence. It might be a good idea to install motion lights if you have not already done so. Also, you may want to place timers inside your home to activate lights, television sets and radios at various times during the day. You may want to leave a TV or radio on at all times and put radios on all talk stations. Also, consider installing game cameras on your property or one of the many camera systems that are activated when someone rings your doorbell that sends a message to your phone so you can view who has rang the doorbell, whereupon you can speak with them.

3. Make sure all your doors and windows are locked and having dead bolt locks on all exterior doors is a good idea.

4. Placing beware of dog signs on your property, even if you don’t own a dog.

5. Have someone pick up your mail or newspapers. You may want to a call your postal carrier and have the mail stopped for the time you are away and call your newspaper provider or carrier to stop newspaper delivery while you are away too.

6. Don’t post on social media sites that you are gone and don’t post pictures of your trip on social media sites until after you return home.

7. Don’t record that you are out of town or on vacation on your answering machine.

8. Have a friend, family member, or neighbor check up on your home while you are away, or ask someone to house sit for you while you are away. If you see something that looks suspicious around your neighbor’s home or property, contact law enforcement immediately. Always remember: If you see something, say something!

9. Do not place presents or expensive items, such as jewelry or electronics, in plain sight in your vehicles or in your homes that are visible through windows. Lock presents and expensive items in the trunk of your vehicle when you are traveling or in a room in your house that has a door lock on it.

10. You may also want to consider calling the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency if you live inside the city limits of a municipality to check on the possibility and availability of extra patrols in your neighborhood while you are away. One bit of information you can pass along to law enforcement would be what vehicles should be on your property.

“Also, if you plan to stay at home this weekend or stay within the confines of Oconee County, please know that we will have our normal and routine law enforcement operations going on and we will be monitoring the roads and shopping centers,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “Dispatch will be staffed as normal and will be available to handle calls for service, so if you have an emergency or need law enforcement to respond to where you are, we will be ready to respond.”

Crimestoppers – An Effective Tool and Resource for Oconee County Law Enforcement

Crimestoppers Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————-Crimestoppers of Oconee County, Inc. has been and continues be an effective tool and resource for law enforcement in Oconee County to solve crimes and make Oconee County a safe place to live, work and play.

“Crimestoppers of Oconee County, Inc. came into existence on May 10th, 1995 with the purpose of bringing the county together as one to help law enforcement in Oconee County to solve cases and make arrests and in turn, to hold criminals accountable,” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt, who is the Sheriff’s Office coordinator for Crimestoppers. “Crimestoppers roots trace back to New Mexico in 1976 and the program has gone worldwide.”

Individuals who have information about a crime and/or info on individuals who are wanted by law enforcement can call (1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP), text (text TIPSC plus your message to 274637) or go online (https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=585) to supply information confidentially. If an individual provides a tip to Crimstoppers, that person does not have to give their name, but is assigned a tip number and is given a callback date.

If an arrest is made and the specific information given in the tip leads to an arrest, the Crimestoppers coordinator will inform the caller upon callback that he or she is eligible for a cash reward if they provided the correct information first, with the amount of the case reward being decided upon by the Board of Directors here in Oconee. Also, the person calling in the tip will be informed on how, where and when to get their cash reward.

“The amount of the reward is typically based upon the seriousness of the crime,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “We have a points system based upon the seriousness of the crime that helps the board in its determination on the amount of the reward. We encourage anyone with any information about any crimes in Oconee County to contact Crimestoppers, with the assurances that their information and their names will remain confidential and anonymous.”

“Something that we want to bring to our citizens attention is the fact that the Board of Directors has paid out tips to individuals whose tips have led to arrests and in some cases, some tipsters have not gone by and picked up their reward money,” says P.I.O. Watt. “While we know that many of our citizens assist us and provide information because they are interested, as we are, in helping law enforcement solve crimes while seeking no reward on their own part, and we thank them for it, we encourage those who call in tips to check back to see if those tips have led to arrests and if they have, we encourage them to follow through with the process and collect their reward money.”

Crimestoppers is a non-profit, 501-C-3 organization that raises money for its operations through a yearly golf tournament held in the spring and a car show held in Westminster in late summer during the Apple Festival. However, citizens, business, industry, civic groups and organizations can and have donated to Crimestoppers and since Crimestoppers is non-profit, those individuals and entities can receive a tax deduction.

Between April of 2013 and August of 2016, Crimestoppers tips have led to 32 arrests and one case cleared. In that time, Crimestoppers of Oconee County, Inc. has paid out approximately $5075.00 in reward money.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Man on Burglary and Malicious Injury to Personal Property Charges

Daniel Bradley Ryan, Jr.

Daniel Bradley Ryan, Jr.

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s arrested a Salem man late Friday evening on charges of Burglary – 2nd Degree and Malicious Injury to Personal Property.

49 year old Daniel Bradley Ryan, Jr. of N. Ranch Way was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:28pm. As of 10:15am this morning, Ryan Jr. remains in custody at the Detention Center on a combined $15,000 surety bond.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to reports of an alarm at an address on Bridgeview Drive last Friday evening. After arriving on the scene, the deputy discovered a broken window at the residence, asked for an additional unit to respond and made contact with the homeowner before making entry into the residence.

As the deputies began to clear the residence, they observed damage in various portions of the residence and then discovered a male, later identified as Ryan, Jr., lying in a bed inside of the residence.

After repeatedly ignoring officer attempts to get out of the bed, deputies were able to place Ryan, Jr. under arrest as additional deputies, including an investigator form the Criminal Investigations Division arrived. Ryan Jr. appeared to be intoxicated, according to deputies, and the damage to the residence was estimated to be around $5,000.

Ryan, Jr. was transported to the Detention Center as deputies continued their investigation and gathered evidence.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Additional Arrests in Fifteenth “Operation Infinity” Drug Round-Up

Mary Catherine Salisbury

Mary Catherine Salisbury

Robert Clifton Rigdon

Robert Clifton Rigdon

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing additional arrests today in the fifteenth “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up that began on November 3rd.

The Sheriff’s Office began the operation with a meeting and briefing at 8:30am that morning. The Sheriff’s Office teamed up with our law enforcement partners from the Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster and West Union Police Departments.

In all, 27 individuals are being sought on a variety of drug charges involving methamphetamine, prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana. Some individuals in this drug sweep are being sought on charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child as well as charges for attempts to purchase pseudoephedrine above the legal limits allowed.

As of November 8th, 14 individuals had been arrested so far and/or were already in jail and will or have been served their warrants. The additional arrests bring to 16 the total number of individuals arrested so far as of 4:00pm today. Here are the names of the additional individuals arrested and their charges according to warrants:

1) Robert Clifton Rigdon
Anderson, SC
42 years old
Distribution of Ice (Methamphetamine) – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around on November 17th around 4:26pm
Rigdon was also charged with Possession of Methamphetamine as a result of his arrest on Ames Street on the Utica Mill Hill yesterday.

2) Mary Catherine Salisbury
Seneca, SC
38 years old
Unlawful Neglect of a Child – 1 count
Booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:46am on November 18th
Salisbury was released from the Detention Center earlier today on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation and due to that fact, the names of the other individuals being sought will not be released at this time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Man on Breach of Trust Charges

Corey West Quinn

Corey West Quinn

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man late yesterday evening on Breach of Trust charges.

20 year old Corey West Quinn of Jocassee Lake Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:45pm. Quinn was apprehended by an officer from the Pickens City Police Department yesterday evening and arrangements were made for Oconee County deputies to pick Quinn up and transport him to the Detention Center.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the Jocassee Lake Road location on October 10th to speak with the victims who allowed Quinn to take their vehicle with the understanding the vehicle needed to be returned by a certain time and date. However, the vehicle was not returned at the time and date specified by the victims.

The investigation was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division and the vehicle was discovered on October 12th in Pickens County and was returned to the victims.

Based on the result of the investigation, investigators obtained an arrest warrant against Quinn on the Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent charges.

Quinn was released earlier today from the Detention Center on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.