Hollywood man sentenced to 20 years for drug charge

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A Hollywood man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court for possession with intent to distribute crack.

Cornelius Simmons, 28, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Simmons was stopped in his motor vehicle for driving erratically by a Charleston County Sheriff's deputy. After the vehicle stopped, the defendant got out of the vehicle and refused to get back inside it. Simmons began to go through his pockets and took up an aggressive stance, said prosecutors.

The deputy tried to place his hand on Simmons to prevent him from fleeing. The defendant struck the officer in the head and began to flee. The deputy deployed his taser and Simmons went to the ground.

While the defendant was on the ground, a large amount of crack cocaine, 63.79 grams officers would later learn, came out of his pockets.

Simmons fled the area and the officer pursued him, caught up and tackled the man to the ground. During a struggle, Simmons kicked or grabbed the officers groin three times, changed the channel on the officer's radio when he attempted to call for assistance, and attempted to grab the officer's weapon. The officer was only able to arrest the defendant after he struck Simmons in the head with a rock.

After the incident, the officer and the defendant were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Simmons was also sentenced to a consecutive 37 months for violating his supervised release on a previous federal gun charge.

The case was investigated by agents of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the DEA.

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