Sheriff: Berkeley Co. drug trade pushing into neighborhoods

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Drug trends are changing in Berkeley County as large-scale distributors are moving into residential neighborhoods to set up their businesses, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

Monday morning the Berkeley County Sheriff's Drug Enforcement Unit seized a handful of drugs from a Sangaree home on Marion Road.

Two brothers were arrested and face multiple drug charges.

Sheriff Duane Lewis said the seizure Monday brought officials the largest methamphetamine bust in County history.

More than 2.5 pounds of meth were taken into evidence along with marijuana, pills, a gun, and four cars believed to be used in trafficking drugs.

"This stuff was packaged and ready for sale," Lewis said. "So we know that was their full intent. It was to distribute it to their lower level dealers that are out on the street. I'm sure today they're wondering where their supply is at."

"I know it needs to be off the streets," said Berkeley County Council member Tommy Newell, who represents the Sangaree area. "It doesn't need to be around the children that I've coached and their families."

Lewis said the County is dealing with major drug problems right now.

The neighborhood where the stash was seized is no stranger to law enforcement.

"[There's] a lot of wild stuff going on," said Mark Brown, who used to live there. "Stuff you hear about people dying, getting shot, overdosing and stuff like that. You see a good bit of police activity in here."

The Sheriff's Office depends on the public to relay tips to them, especially now that the trend shows these drug distributors are moving into residential neighborhoods.

"They go into these places where they feel safe or normal, like a regular household family or whatever," Lewis said. "But the good people of this county, they pay attention."

"It's significant," Newell said. "I mean how many more houses in Sangaree can we go after? How many house in Sedgefield? Macedonia? Longridge… just throughout the county."

Lewis also believes more drugs are coming in from outside of the US.

"We've seen far less of the local manufacturing of meth, which is why I believe this (the methamphetamine) came from Mexico. There are large distributors manufacturing in Mexico and are now coming into the United States."

"It's just getting worse and worse and worse," Brown said. "I don't see it getting any better."

Lewis said since taking office, his goal has been to go after the drug dealers in the County.

"We're not going to stop," he said. "We've seen an increase in the community support. They've given us the information we need to launch these investigations."

The Sheriff's Office is urging the public to contact them if they see any sort of illegal activity.

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