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Charleston police investigation nets $150k worth of pills, weapo - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston police investigation nets $150k worth of pills, weapons & arrests

Top Row (L to R): Sliker, Poeschek, Katko, Reams and Nauss. Bottom Row (L to R): Kligman, Hincks, Liljeberg, and Schmidt. (Source: CCDC) Top Row (L to R): Sliker, Poeschek, Katko, Reams and Nauss. Bottom Row (L to R): Kligman, Hincks, Liljeberg, and Schmidt. (Source: CCDC)
Gun seized during operation. (Source: Live 5 News) Gun seized during operation. (Source: Live 5 News)
Chief Mullen and Mayor Tecklenburg at the press conference. (Source: Live 5 News) Chief Mullen and Mayor Tecklenburg at the press conference. (Source: Live 5 News)
Drugs seized in operation. (Source: Live 5 News) Drugs seized in operation. (Source: Live 5 News)
Drugs seized in operation. (Source: Live 5 News) Drugs seized in operation. (Source: Live 5 News)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A six month investigation by the Charleston Police Department resulted in the confiscation of $150,000 worth of pills, $200,000 in cash and several arrests. 

CPD officials announced that an investigation into a drug network operating in the city resulted in the confiscation of drugs, seven guns, four vehicles, cash and the arrest of nine people who were charged with 29 counts of state narcotics charges. 

The police department laid out numerous drugs and weapons that were seized in the operation during Wednesday's presser.

The drugs confiscated included Xanax, LSD, hashish, cocaine and synthetic pot some of which were hidden in a bag of popcorn.

"This certainly was one of the largest [drug busts] we've had in recent time," said Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen."One of the things that's most interesting about this case is the fact that it includes such a large variety of drugs."

CPD officials say over 12 search warrants were executed, and undercover buys of drugs and surveillance were done during the investigation. 

"Normally you're dealing with either cocaine, marijuana, or heroin," Mullen said."This particular case you had all types of drugs."

According to Mullen, the investigation started with one arrest and mushroomed from there. 

Mullen revealed during the briefing that there is a connection between the investigation and Patrick Moffly's murder: Moffly was killed in a shooting on Smith Street in March. 

Mayor Tecklenburg who was present during the briefing said the number one job of the city government is public safety, and spoke about the recent murders in the community. 

"The majority of recent deaths and murders you've seen in our community, not just in the City of Charleston and in this county, but around the country can often be traced to disputes over drugs, to individuals who are making theft or even murder over obtaining money to get drugs," Tecklenburg said."So the connection is so real."

The following people were arrested as a result of Charleston police's investigation:

Michael Schmidt, 21, of Shadow Glen Court, Atlanta, GA., is charged with Trafficking Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule I (AB-Fubinaca – synthetic form of Marijuana).

Robert Liljeberg, 22, of Montague Street, is charged with two counts of Trafficking Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule I (AB- Fubinaca – synthetic form of Marijuana).

Zackery Kligman, 24, of Spring Street, is charged with Trafficking Cocaine.

Benjamin Nauss, 23, of Felix Street, is charged with Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute and Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule IV (Xanax).

Johathan Reams, 19, of Satterfield Road, Easley, S.C., is charged with Trafficking Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule I (AB- Fubinaca – synthetic form of Marijuana) with the intent to Distribute.

Daniel Katko, 25, of Theresa Drive, is charged with Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute, Manufacturing THC, Trafficking MDMA (Ecstasy), Possession of LSD with the intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute.

Christopher Sliker, 22, of Shoreline Drive, John Island, is charged with two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Schedule IV (Xanax).

Samantha Hincks, 26, of Ashley Avenue, is charged with Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Distribute, Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Distribute within Close Proximity to a Park/Playground, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule IV (Xanax) with the intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute.

Jake Poeschek, 21, of Ashley Avenue, is charged with Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Distribute, Possession of Cocaine with the intent to Distribute within Close Proximity to Park/Playground, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule IV (Xanax) with the intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana with the intent to Distribute. 

"One of the things we have been clearly hearing about recently is the connection between narcotics and violence and we've certainly seen an increase in violence in our community as well as other cities around the country," Mullen said." And one of the things we wanted to do is to demonstrate to you the level of the connection between narcotics, weapons and violence."

"I know that many members in our community have looked over time as drugs as being recreational," Tecklenburg said."It's not. It's a real scourge  to our community and it's a real threat to public safety not just what it can do to an individual, but the ensuing violence and real impact on the community at large."    

The investigation was conducted by the Charleston Police Department Special Investigations Unit with assistance from the department’s Team 1 Patrol, Team 1 Community Action Team, Team 2 Patrol, Team 4 Patrol, Special Weapons and Tactics Unit, Team 7 (K-9) and the Criminal Intelligence Unit. They were assisted by the Metro Unit of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Service (Inspector’s Division).

The following is a summary of the total amount of drugs, guns, cash and vehicles seized: 

Cocaine - 734.18 grams; Marijuana - 2,486.4 grams; Pills (including Xanax and AB-Fubinaca) – 43,242 pills; Hash – 90.98 grams; MDMA (“Molly” – Powdered form of Ecstasy) – 134.82 grams; LSD (“Acid”) – 1.24 grams; LSD (“Acid Sheets”) 3.5 sheets; MDMA (Ecstasy) – 12 pills; Cash - $214,161; Guns – 7; and Vehicles – 4.

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