ENFORCEMENT DEALS MAJOR BLOW TO
Mayor Keith Summey, North Charleston, SC, North Charleston Chief of Police Jon Zumalt, Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Al Cannon and John Andrejko, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administrations' Atlanta Field Division in conjunction with Strom Thurmond, Jr., United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina and Ralph Hoisington, Solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina jointly announced the indictment and arrest of 19 persons involved in multiple large scale crack cocaine distribution organizations in North Charleston, South Carolina.
In addition to the 19 subjects who were indicted on federal drug charges, an additional 11 persons involved with these organizations were charged with violations of the drug laws of South Carolina. The indictments and arrests are the result of an 8 month cooperative effort involving the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Charleston Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Marshal's Service. Also affected during this 8 month period was the arrest of over 300 retail level drug traffickers from the streets of North Charleston through a concentrated and coordinated effort by the North Charleston Police Department S.P.E.E.D. (Selective Police Enforcement to Enhance and Deter) and P.A.C. (Police And Community) Teams to address the problem of open air drug markets.
North Charleston Mayor Summey stated "We are very pleased that the Drug Enforcement Administration recognized our need for assistance to rid our streets of drug traffickers. Today's events are the culmination of many months of our combined efforts. With DEA's further assistance in addressing the demand for drugs we will now return to these communities to begin the process of rebuilding them."
John Andrejko, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division, stated "Working together with our state and local counterparts is a great way of ridding our neighborhoods of drugs and arresting those who sell them."
The investigation started in January of 2002 in response to a request for assistance from the Office of the Mayor of North Charleston. The DEA Atlanta Field Division provided a Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) comprised of Special Agents that worked closely with the North Charleston Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the DEA's Charleston Resident Office to identity the primary distributors of cocaine in North Charleston. The investigation revealed that the subjects indicted in this investigation were the top echelon of distribution organizations operating in 6 communities in North Charleston. These distribution organizations were collectively responsible for significant quantities of crack cocaine that was distributed in the city of North Charleston.
The following individuals were indicted in the District of South Carolina for violation of federal drug trafficking laws or charged in the State of South Carolina for violation of State drug laws. The names have been further subdivided to indicate from which communities these subjects operated their illegal drug distribution businesses:
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted on all charges the defendants will face long federal prison terms.
For additional information please contact the following:
Mayor Keith Summey,
North Charleston Mayor's Office: (843) 740-2504
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