U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy, for the District of South Carolina, announced Monday that 30 Horry County and Myrtle Beach area drug traffickers all pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in federal court.
They were indicted based on a federal wiretap investigation into narcotics and violence in the Myrtle Beach area.
More than 200 law enforcement officers participated in the investigation and arrests. “Operation Broken Branch” was among the biggest sting in our history hoping to turn the tide on high crime in the downtown City of Myrtle Beach and other areas.
The Cedar Branch drug trafficking organization was an interstate conspiracy that was involved in the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and firearms.
The organization was based in the Cedar Branch area of Horry County, and had ties across the state line into North Carolina, a release from the district said.
Members were supplied with controlled substances from multiple interstate sources of supply, including one with direct ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) from Jalisco, Mexico, according to the attorney’s office release.
Cedar Branch was identified as a priority target in connection with violent crime and overdoses in the Myrtle Beach area.
Each of the defendants pleaded guilty to one of two indictments that collectively contained 72 counts of violations of federal law ranging from drug conspiracy and firearms violations to using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, according to the release.
The sentences are as followed:
- Teontric Jackson, 30, of Loris – 180 months
- Darrell Jackson, 48, of Myrtle Beach – 120 months
- Lisa Garcia, 50, of Delano, CA – 120 months
- Byron Jackson, 29, of Loris – 120 months
- Angelo Jackson, 25, of Loris – 108 months
- Timothy Long, 40, of Tabor City, NC – 100 months
- Leon Green, 33, of Longs – 87 months
- Winferd Sherman, 24, of Loris – 72 months
- Antra Gore, 38, of Loris – 72 months
- Shaquan Hemingway, 23, of Loris – 70 months
- Carl Green, 45, of Loris – 63 months
- Phillip Johnson, 29, of Loris – 57 months
- Tyshon Clifton, 21, of Loris – 46 months
- Tremayne Green, 25, of Loris – 46 months
- Mark Jackson, 26, of Loris – 37 months
- Devante Squires, 27, of Loris – 36 months
- Teraine Green, 30, of Loris – 26 months
- Alfredo Gore, 43, of Tabor City, NC – 24 months
- Bradley Griffin, 36, of Longwood, NC – 22 months
- Monrail Miller, 35, of Loris – 21 months
- James Myers, 33, of Loris – 20 months
- Anthony Nealey, 48, of Longs – 18 months
- Tyruss Hemingway, 21, of Loris – 15 months
- James Riggins, 44, of Tabor City, NC – 12 months
- Lateice Griffin, 30, of Longwood, NC – less than a year
- Montel Hyppolite, 23, of Loris – less than a year
- Robert Attaway, 37, of Myrtle Beach – less than a year
- Mildred Mann, 44, of Little River – less than a year
- Billie Lee Green, 60, of Loris – less than a year
- Kenneth Nobles, 31, of Loris – less than a year
The Horry County Police Dept., Horry County Sheriff’s Office, 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, Myrtle Beach Police Dept., Conway Police Dept., South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, United States Marshals Service, United States Postal Inspection Service and the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office all assisted in the multi-year investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also participated in this operation.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Susan Ferensic said “This latest sentencing signifies the end of this drug organization. I want to thank our law enforcement partners who all played a vital role in bringing this case to a successful closure. Let this case serve as an example to those introducing drugs in Horry County that this criminal activity will not be tolerated.”
Loris Police Dept. Chief Gary Buley said “With our continued support we continue to battle the drugs and make a big difference in our community. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication by all to make this difference in our communities,” he said.
Myrtle Beach Police Dept. Chief Amy Prock said “As we said before, Myrtle Beach is not a safe haven for criminals. The long list of agencies who worked together for this case is a testament to the strength of our partnerships and our commitment to keeping our community safe.”
Horry County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Phillip Thompson said “We are grateful for the partnerships we share with federal law enforcement, state and local agencies in the combined efforts to fight the surge of drugs in our communities. Operation Broken Branch was a much-needed enforcement operation in a rural area of Horry County plagued by illegal narcotics sales.”
15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Drug Enforcement Unit Commander Dean Bishop commented and said “This demonstrates how the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit, along with our partners, will serve our communities by focusing on violent drug traffickers.”
Coastal Carolina University Police Dept. Chief David Roper released the following comment about the investigation:
“Due to the complex nature of large-scale drug operations, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies work together to combat such organizations. Each agency brings unique assets to the table that enhances their ability for success. These operations require technology, experience, and boots on the ground in order to gather enough information to arrest and successfully prosecute participants in the drug trade. These types of successful operations allow us to maintain a safe community. They also make the criminal aware that law enforcement will always pursue illegal operations that effect the safety of our citizens. Coastal Carolina University Department of Public Safety is pleased to have been involved with this important investigation.”