13 face federal drug, firearms charges in ‘Operation Cash Out’
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The U.S. Attorney’s Office said a team of more than 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers arrested nine people in an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy in the Charleston area.
The arrests made in “Operation Cash Out” follow a 46-count indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury targeting alleged members of the violent street gang West Cash, Acting U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference in Charleston.
The nine people in custody are:
- Antwan Xavier Grant, a/k/a “Twan,” 25, of Charleston
- Tevin Jermaine Fulmore, a/k/a “Goon,” 27, of North Charleston
- Zyshonne Tremonte Dayon Gantt, a/k/a “Z Man,” 22, of Charleston
- Rashad Montez Heyward-Williams, a/k/a “Boola Bucks,” 28, of Charleston
- De’Andre Marquel Williams, a/k/a “Riley” and “Rilo,” 24, of Charleston
- Essence Tamia Cemon Ancrum, a/k/a “Poopie,” 24, of North Charleston
- Antonio Snipe, Jr., a/k/a “Bruiser,” 21, of Charleston
- Demetrius Samire Costen, a/k/a “Meechie,” 27, of North Charleston
- Jackie Benson, 46, of Summerville
Four additional people are not yet in custody, DeHart said.
The indictment alleges that, starting in September 2016 to the present, six of the thirteen defendants conspired to possess and distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. For their respective drug charges, the defendants could face up to 40 years in federal prison.
Additionally, four of the defendants have been charged with conspiring to make false statements to licensed firearms dealers in order to purchase firearms, as well as 13 individual charges of lying to licensed firearms dealers in order to purchase firearms, including an AR-15 pistol, FN 5.7 pistols, and a Glock 29.
The indictment alleges that these defendants lied to local licensed dealers, including Palmetto State Armory, ATP Gun Shop, Field & Stream, and Sportsman’s Warehouse, by attesting that they were the true purchaser of a firearm, when it is alleged that they were not. Each of the firearm-related counts carry up to 10 years in federal prison.
The indictment also charges five of the defendants with using telephones to facilitate their drug trafficking conspiracy, counts that each carry up to four years in federal prison.
“Drug gangs are a primary reason for the violent crime surge not only in South Carolina but also across the nation,” DeHart said. “Violent gang activity will never be tolerated in South Carolina.”
DeHart said the arrests were the result of a months-long joint investigation between the FBI, the ATF, Homeland Security Investigations, the Charleston, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville and Charleston Aviation Authority Police Departments; the Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Sheriff’s Offices; the State Law Enforcement Division and the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
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