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9 in custody after police seize 10,000 bags of heroin - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

9 in custody after police seize 10,000 bags of heroin

Nine defendants named in an indictment involving more than a kilogram of heroin remain in custody today.

The defendants have been detained pending trial after a detention hearing conducted by Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks.

These suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure of almost 10,000 bags of heroin on May 15 outside of Charleston. The bags were found in a secret compartment in an Infiniti SUV.

Authorities say this indictment is the result of a task force's attempt to crack down on violent street gang drug crime in Charleston. The United States Attorney's Office joined forces with the Charleston Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies.

These agencies included the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire, and Explosives, and the FBI.

The defendants face severe penalties that do not permit parole. Certain potential sentences are lengthened due to membership in criminal street gangs.

The following suspects were indicted:

-Gary Lamontt Smith faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

-Jermaine Lorenzo Bailey faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life without parole.

-Kenneth Lamont Williams faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

-Travis Antwan Wright faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

-Shawn Demetrius Blount faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life without parole.

-Ebony Dyshica Roper faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

-Sarah St. John Eddleman faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

-Nikia Renee Noisette faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life without parole.

-Bernard Jordan faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

United States Attorney Bill Nettles praised the efforts of the agencies that led to this indictment.

"I always say that teamwork always works.  Always.  When we all work together, citizens get the best result.  Speaking in general and not about this specific case, violent drug crime is a key issue we are attempting to address.  Communities have been devastated by this type of criminal activity, and we can only overcome it by joining forces," said Nettles.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen also talked about the collective effort of the agencies.

"We always look for opportunities to share resources, combine intelligence, and join efforts.  We have focused on this type of crime in an effort to protect our community from the violence that comes from drug dealing.  We will continue to work together to combat any criminal street gangs operating in our community," said Mullen.

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