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Westminster Man Arrested Wednesday Evening on Drug Trafficking and Exposing a Child to a Drug Charge

Ernest Wayne Hippensteal

(Walhalla, SC)-------------------------------------A Westminster man remains in jail this afternoon, pending a bond hearing, after his arrest yesterday on drug trafficking, and exposing a child to a drug charge, as a result of a traffic stop in the Earles Grove Community.


45 year old Ernest Wayne Hippensteal, of Pitts Road, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center at around 7:01pm Wednesday.


A Deputy from the P.A.C.E. (Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement Team), on routine patrol Wednesday, initiated a traffic stop on a white Ford F-250 pickup truck due to a traffic violation on Dunn Roamin Ranch Drive at Earles Grove Road.


The Deputy made contact with the driver, identified as Hippensteal.  A child was a passenger in the truck.  The Deputy received consent from Hippensteal to search the truck.  A search of the truck by the Deputy produced a quantity of Methamphetamine.


A Deputy from the Uniform Patrol Bureau provided the minor a ride back to the child’s residence with permission from the child’s guardians.  Hippensteal was placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.  The pickup was towed away from the scene of the traffic stop.


Based upon evidence that was gathered during the investigation, Hippensteal has been charged with one count each of Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Unlawful Exposure of a Child to Methamphetamine.


The approximate amount of Methamphetamine seized during the traffic stop was 54.61 grams.


The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.  The Sheriff’s Office will also not release any information that could, either directly or indirectly, identify the child who was a passenger in the truck. 

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