DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Beth Drake
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lance Crick

27 Arrested on State Arrests, Federal Indictment, Unsealed on Gun and Drug Charges Following Year-Long Undercover Collaborative Law Enforcement Effort

Multi-agency “Berkeley County Violent Crime Reduction Partnership” launched in late 2015

Columbia, South Carolina-------United States Attorney Beth Drake, announced today that twenty-seven individuals have been arrested on state charges for drug and firearms violations.  Additionally, a federal indictment has been unsealed charging Rico Reid, a/k/a “Deuce”, age 40, of Moncks Corner, with multiple heroin distribution and firearms charges.  ATF has a federal warrant for Reid’s arrest.
 
Beginning in September of 2015, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) Charlotte Field Division, working with several law enforcement partners, began an undercover investigation in the rural areas of Berkeley County targeting armed narcotics traffickers.  The investigation focused on an unincorporated area of Goose Creek known as Rutt Lane in an effort to combat armed drug trafficking activities, the illegal possession of firearms, and other violent crimes in the area.  Undercover agents and informants purchased heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth, and firearms from several suspects in the area. 
 
This operation was a combined law enforcement effort in Goose Creek and the surrounding communities and included special agents from ATF, the Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshals Service and officers and deputies from the Goose Creek Police Department, the Hanahan Police Department, the Moncks Corner Police Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.   The charges filed against the defendants in this operation are being prosecuted by the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston.
 
"The Rutt Road area of Berkeley County has been a problem area for many years. It has been plagued by gun and drug violence for too long. After assessing the situation, meeting with community leaders and elected representatives, I asked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for assistance due to the level of gun violence involved. Working with ATF, we have been able to target the most serious offenders. It is my hope that the community will be a safer place going forward," Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis stated.
 
“ATF is extremely appreciative of our partners and this collaborative effort to make Goose Creek and the surrounding areas in Berkeley County a safer place,” said Charlotte Field Division’s Special Agent in Charge C.J. Hyman. “ATF has committed our resources to help tackle firearms trafficking, illegal criminal firearm possession and other violent crimes happening in the area. That commitment, combined with the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies, federal partners, the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has resulted in a very successful operation with a long-term impact on violent crime in this community.” 
 
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson echoed that sentiment. “This multi-agency partnership charted a proactive approach to secure our community by focusing on dangerous individuals who seek to disrupt our streets and communities with firearms-driven as well as drug-related violence.”
       
U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the local, state, and federal agencies and credited law enforcement.  “We work best when we work together.  Removing violent repeat offenders from our communities and keeping our streets safe is our collective mission.”
 
The United States Attorney stated that all charges in this indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
 
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Field Division: Charlotte Field Division