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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Carolina

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Sherri A. Lydon
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lance Crick

26 Charged in Series of Federal Indictments in South Carolina and Georgia for Drugs, Illegal Firearms

Aiken, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that 26 individuals, many of them associates of a violent criminal street gang, have been indicted on drug and firearms charges after a series of investigations in South Carolina and Georgia.

The investigation and arrests were announced in a joint press conference held at the Aiken Department of Public Safety by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the District of South Carolina and the Southern District of Georgia.

The investigation was initiated by the Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Task Force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  It began in 2017 as an investigation of a member of a criminal street gang who is alleged to have coordinated continued criminal activity while being held in the Aiken County Detention Center awaiting retrial for murder in a 2008 drug-related home invasion.

From 2017 to the present, ATF agents in South Carolina and Georgia identified multiple targets in the investigation, many of them linked by association with the street gang.  Nine defendants were named in three separate indictments by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia, while 17 additional defendants have been indicted in the District of South Carolina.

“We will not stand by and let violent criminal enterprises continue victimizing our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina is locking arms with our law enforcement partners, and we will spare no resource to take back our neighborhoods from criminal actors who are mixing violence and illegal drug distribution.  I am proud to stand with our federal, state, and local partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Georgia, and I applaud their excellent work in these cases.”

“Our federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors continue our relentless and unwavering effort to identify, arrest and prosecute associates of violent criminal street gangs and remove them from our neighborhoods,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.  “City limits, county lines and state borders are no barrier to the professionals who fight tirelessly to eliminate drug-dealers and illegal firearms from our communities.”

The 17 defendants charged in South Carolina are:

  • Ronald Gartrell, a/k/a “RJ,” 33, of Aiken, South Carolina, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, multiple counts of Distribution of Crack Cocaine, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Heather Collins, 42, of Aiken, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, and multiple counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine and Crack Cocaine;
  • Cornelious F. McKie, 42, of Aiken, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine;
  • Reihn Dracon Jennings, a/k/a “Red,” 28, of Aiken, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, Distribution of Crack Cocaine, multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
  • Christopher Johnson, a/k/a “Crip,”  32, of Aiken, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, Distribution of Crack Cocaine, and multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Quinton De’Shaun White, a/k/a “Q,” 29, of North Augusta, South Carolina, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, and Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
  • Kevin D. Sheppard, a/k/a “Bean O”, 35, of Jackson, South Carolina, charged with  Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Benjamin Roper, 42, of Aiken, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Jerome Morris Simmons, 38, of Aiken, charged with Distribution of Cocaine, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Dealing in Firearms without a   License;
  • Antonio Maurice Scrivens, a/k/a “Bucko,” 34, of Aiken, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Using and  Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Keith Williams, 29, of Beech Island, South Carolina, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Larry Thomas, 20, of Aiken, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to and In Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Charlie Edward Carter, 31, of Beech Island, charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Dealing in Firearms without a License;
  • Rudolph Keith Scott, 27, of Beech Island, charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Ray Hampton Baughman, 48, of New Ellenton, South Carolina, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Xavier Mathaney, 26, of Aiken, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and
  • Rashad Lundy, 27, of Aiken, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
The defendants indicted in Georgia are:
  • George Edward Powell, 51, of Blythe, Georgia, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Keldrick Demonta Streetman, 36, of Augusta, Georgia, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution of Cocaine, and Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Jermarce Antonio Smith, 32, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Brandon Jermal Jenkins, 29, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Carl Walker, 56, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, multiple counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, and multiple counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Gwendolyn Johnson-Hill, 53, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  •  John Willie Powell, 39, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and multiple counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine;
  • Ziquane Sandford, 21, of Hephzibah, Georgia, charged with Conspiracy to Engage in the Business of Dealing in Firearms Without a License, False Statements in Acquisition of Firearms, Engaging in the Business of Dealing in Firearms Without a License, Possession of an Unregistered Short-Barreled Shotgun, and False Statements Concerning Information Kept by Firearms Dealer;
  • Jacquetta Yarbray, 23, of Hephzibah, charged with Conspiracy to Engage in the Business of Dealing in Firearms Without a License, False Statements in Acquisition of Firearms, and False Statements Concerning Information Kept by Firearms Dealer.

U.S. Attorney Lydon stated that all charges in the indictments are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton R. Bourne in the District of South Carolina and Assistant United States Attorney Tara Lyons and Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Marchman in the Southern District of Georgia. 

Led by ATF’s RAGE Unit, the law enforcement entities listed below participated in the investigation and the arrests today.  The ATF Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Unit is a joint gang/violent crime task force with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, North Augusta Department of Public Safety, Aiken Department of Public Safety, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Participating law enforcement and prosecution agencies:

State of South Carolina:

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – Charlotte Field Division
  • Aiken County Sheriff’s Office
  • Aiken Department of Public Safety
  • North Augusta Department of Public Safety
  • South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
  • South Carolina Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole

State of Georgia:

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – Atlanta Field Division
  • Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
  • Burke County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office
  • Georgia Department of Community Supervision
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • Georgia State Patrol Aviation

State of West Virginia:

  • Wheeling Police Department
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) -  Wheeling WV Satellite Office

Federal and State Prosecuting Entities:

  • United States Attorney’s Offices – The District of South Carolina and The Southern District of Georgia
  • South Carolina Second Judicial Circuit – Solicitor Strom Thurmond, Jr.
  • Superior Court of Augusta Judicial Circuit – District Attorney Natalie Paine

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Charlotte Field Division