Law enforcement agencies from Greenville, Columbia and Richland County along with the State Law Enforcement Division have brought down the top of a large illegal drug operation. Captain Roger Heaton with SLED says they uncovered approximately 2,000 pounds of marijuana at a Columbia house near Interstate 20.
The bags fill a loading dock. Heaton says they seized a lot of cash–two large duffel bags and three smaller bags packed full of big bills. It’s going to take a while for bankers to count it all, but the total is estimated to be six figures. A money counting machine was found in a nearby home. “The law enforcement who have seen it are just in awe,” says Heaton. “The bills in the bags appear to be mostly $100 and $50 bills.”
Captain Heaton says the bust started with City of Greenville narcotics officers. “They did a traffic stop and arrested an individual with approximately 40 pounds of marijuana and $14,000 in cash,” he says. “But they didn’t drop it then. They started digging deeper to find where this guy got his supply from.”
SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd says that the reason South Carolina is number one in the nation for violent crime is increased drug activity. He says big illegal drug operations out of Atlanta have been going into other areas due to increased pressure from law enforcement, and he says SLED is now more aggressive about finding and busting operations instate.
The bust happened around 2:00am Thursday and included more than a kilo of cocaine, about $30,000 worth.