Lowcountry couple arrested after threatening letters, irritant substance sent to public officials

Lowcountry couple arrested after threatening letters, irritant substance sent to public officials
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested Nyah El Dey and his wife, Brenda Rivers. (Source: CCSO)

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Investigators have arrested a Lowcountry couple after threatening letters and a letter containing an irritant substance were sent to public officials in Colleton County.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested Nyah El Dey and his wife, Brenda Rivers.

The couple had outstanding warrants for their arrests and were taken into custody at their home in Walterboro on Oct. 22.

Authorities say El Dey sent threatening letters to a judge and sheriff, and sent a letter containing an irritant substance to an attorney who had represented him. Deputies say Rivers is accused of aiding El Dey in his harassment and intimidation of public officials.

Letter sent to judge following civil suit

El Dey’s arrest was based on an incident that happened in January of 2018 when authorities say the suspect sent a 28 page document to the courthouse after he lost a lengthy civil suit.

According to investigators, in the document, El Dey challenged the authority of the presiding judge.

“That the Sui Juris demands and commands (the judge) to stand the hell down and get out of the business of the legates who have desire to settle and close this lawsuit between parties in question…,” El Dey said in the letter, according to the sheriff’s office.

El Dey was then found in contempt of court, and a detention order was issued. When deputies responded to his home, they reported that the suspect had fled. An arrest warrant was then issued for intimidation of a court official.

Authorities report continued harassment

The sheriff’s office said over the next 20 months, El Dey continued to harass public officials in Colleton County and surrounding counties.

“On March 14, 2018, Brenda Rivers and El Dey were seen departing the Post Office in Walterboro,” CCSO officials said. “The next day, an attorney at a local law firm in Walterboro received a package from El Dey. The attorney had previously represented the Defendant in El Dey’s civil case.”

A report states that upon opening the package, the attorney reported an allergic reaction to an unknown irritant that prompted a Hazmat response.

The following morning, Brenda Rivers was seen leaving the Walterboro Post Office after mailing a second package to the sheriff of Colleton County. The sheriff’s office said the contents of the package was a letter which stated that the sheriff needed to stay away from El Dey’s property.

Bond and additional charges

Rivers was taken into custody on a warrant for obstruction of justice after investigators say they determined that Rivers was intentionally aiding El Dey in his flight from prosecution and actively participating in El Dey’s continued attempts to harass and intimidate public officials.

Following the couple’s arrest, a search warrant was sought and obtained for their residence. Colleton County investigators reported seizing “a significant amount of evidence” which was submitted to SLED for processing.

El Dey and Rivers were booked into the Colleton County Detention Center. El Dey received a $100,000 surety bond and remains in custody pending other legal action.

Rivers was transported to the Dorchester County Detention Center, pending SLED charges for two counts of impersonation and criminal conspiracy. She received a $5,000 surety bond for all three charges and has since bonded out.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office conducted this investigation with SLED and the U.S. Marshall’s Service assistance. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with additional information on the activities of El Dey and Rivers to contact the Investigations Division at (843)549-2211.

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