Rock Hill Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Involvement in Fentanyl Distribution Ring
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Patricia Ann Hemphill, 51, of Rock Hill, was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison after pleading guilty relating to a multi-state drug operation out of the Rock Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina area.
Evidence presented to the Court showed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit began to investigate a group of defendants who were obtaining large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana from a distributor in Southern California. Based upon the investigation, law enforcement was able to determine that members of the group were flying to California and having the drugs shipped back to the Rock Hill and Charlotte area. After the drugs were shipped back, the group distributed the drugs to local dealers. This group shipped more than 255 packages containing the drugs from California during a one-year period and distributed more than five kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, one kilogram or more of heroin, and more than 1000 grams of marijuana.
The group used the fentanyl to make more than 1 million counterfeit Roxicodone pills, which were sold to users in Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Evidence showed that Hemphill allowed her son to use her house in distributing some of these drugs to others in the area.
Nineteen defendants were charged in this case. Sixteen defendants, including Hemphill and her son Darryl Hemphill, pled guilty to their involvement. The remaining three defendants were convicted at trial in August 2022 and will be sentenced at a later date.
United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Hemphill to 36 months imprisonment, to be followed by a 4-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case was investigated by the FBI, York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office, and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William K. Witherspoon prosecuted the case.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, www.CampusDrugPrevention.gov, and www.dea.gov . Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.
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