Georgetown County rapper enters guilty plea on drug charge

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 10:01 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A 30-year-old rapper from Georgetown is waiting to learn his sentence after pleading guilty to a heroin charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

Edmund Dechane Holmes, also known as “Buddha SME,” pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin, according U.S. Attorney’s Office Rhett DeHart.

Holmes’s case had been scheduled for trial in January until the change of plea this week, DeHart said.

Evidence presented to the court showed that in the months leading up to August 2018, Holmes maintained an apartment in Columbia for the purpose of storing and distributing kilogram quantities of heroin, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states. Authorities learned of his scheme after responding to a call about a disturbance at the address and once there, officers from the Columbia Police Department obtained a search warrant based upon a small amount of drugs that were found in plain view, the release states.

Investigators said that during the search of a back bedroom, they located approximately 1.9 kilograms of black tar heroin along with other drug distribution paraphernalia such as a kilogram-size drug press, bulk money packaging supplies, and items used for mixing and cutting drugs.

Holmes left behind several items proving his identity and acquired a renter’s insurance policy on the unit in his own name, the release states.

At the time of the search, Holmes was serving a five-year term of federal supervised release after having recently been released from prison after serving a five-year sentence for a 2013 federal conviction for distribution of heroin.

Holmes now faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

“Those who continue to push poison in their communities after serving prison sentences for these crimes deserve swift and severe punishments. That will happen in this case, and this office will continue to aggressively prosecute repeat offenders,” DeHart said. “I commend our federal and state partners who helped make sure Holmes will spend at least a decade in federal prison, and who seized lethal drugs that would otherwise have ended up on the streets of South Carolina.”

“The severe punishment Holmes faces correctly reflects the criminal activities he engaged in,” Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy said. “He continuously poisoned the community with heroin despite having been arrested previously for heroin distribution. The guilty plea removes yet another dangerous criminal from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may be tempted to distribute this insidious drug: DEA and its law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue and ultimately prosecute criminals like Holmes.”

In addition to a mandatory minimum of 10 years, Holmes faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. He also faces a fine of $10,000,000, at least five years of additional supervision to follow the term of imprisonment, and restitution.

United States District Judge David C. Norton accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Holmes after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

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