Beaufort drug dealer sentenced to 20 years

BEAUFORT, SC - A St. Helena Island drug dealer was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking charges and the February 2010 shooting of his cousin.

At the conclusion of a three-day trial on Thursday, a jury found Marion Bonds, 24, guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, trafficking crack-cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack-cocaine within a half-mile of a school.

On Feb. 17, Bonds shot his 33-year-old cousin in the arm outside a home on Edding White Road. The victim identified Bonds as the shooter. Deputies then converged on a home where Bonds was staying and found him hiding in closet near a shoe filled with 43 grams of crack cocaine.

The case was prosecuted by deputy solicitor Angela McCall-Tanner, leader of the Beaufort County Career Criminal Prosecution Team. The team focuses on rapidly prosecuting repeat offenders.

Bonds has four prior burglary convictions and two prior drug convictions.

"Marion Bonds is exactly the kind of guy the community fears," said McCall-Tanner. "He's a convicted felon. He's a drug dealer. He's armed and he pulled the trigger. I'm very happy we were able to get him off the streets."

Judge Carmen Mullen handed down the sentence.