Convicted felon gets life in prison after caught dealing drugs in Summerville

Convicted felon gets life in prison after caught dealing drugs in Summerville

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A convicted felon was sentenced to life in prison after authorities discovered him dealing drugs.

A Berkeley County jury convicted Joseph Umphlett with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent felony.

Prosecutors say the sentence was predicated in part upon Umphlett's 2006 conviction for trafficking cocaine which is considered a violent crime under South Carolina law.

"Umphlett's criminal history, which included three serious crimes, made him eligible for a sentence of life without parole once the Solicitor's Office filed its notice of intent to seek life without parole," officials with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's office said."Umphlett was represented by Grover "Beau" Seaton."

On May 11, 2014, officers with the Summerville Police Department detained Umphlett after responding to a call for a child welfare check at the Economy Inn and observing evidence of other illegal activity.

As a result of their observations, officers contacted the Summerville/Dorchester Metro Narcotics Unit, authorities say.

According to a report, detectives with Metro Narcotics arrested Umphlett after executing a search warrant and retrieved, among other things, three loaded guns, approximately 197 grams of methamphetamine, and other drug paraphernalia.

"During the investigation, on May 11, 2014, the Defendant admitted that he was purchasing methamphetamine in Georgia and bringing it to South Carolina for sale," officials said."Experts from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) informed the Solicitor's Office that the methamphetamine involved in Umphlett's case was of a quality that indicated it was produced by sophisticated drug manufacturers."

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