Fourth man pleads guilty in meth ring

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A fourth man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine.

Daniel Eugene "Jackson" Frost, 48, of Starr, SC was named as a member of an upstate meth ring. Frost's co-conspirators in the case, Rusty Lee Pointer, 32, and John Eric Pruitt, 30, both of Townville, SC, and Rodrigo Osorio Jamarillo, 23, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Frost, Pointer, Pruitt, and Jamarillo distributed meth in Oconee and Anderson Counties from 2003 until July 2009, said investigators.

Law enforcement began investigating the group early last year, making undercover purchases of meth from the group and gathering intelligence on its inner workings.  Investigators identified Jamarillo as the source of supply for the conspiracy, traveling from Atlanta to bring multiple pounds of meth to Pointer's Anderson County residence in exchange for large amounts of cash from Pointer, Pruitt, and Frost.

The investigation culminated in July 2009 with the execution of a federal search warrant at Pointer's residence, where agents found more than 12 pounds of meth stashed in a barn.

Frost fled the residence when agents arrived, leading officers on a high-speed car chase, throwing meth from the vehicle before wrecking it.  The meth seized from Frost's vehicle, as well as the amounts collected after being discarded from the chase, amounted to more than five pounds.

Investigators determined that Jamarillo had left the residence before the search, but was stopped later that evening in Commerce, Georgia, with more than $100,000 cash in his vehicle.

All four defendants face a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a fine of $4,000,000.

United States District Judge Henry F. Floyd accepted the pleas and will sentence the four men at a later date.

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