Piedmont man charged in drug import and distribution

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United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced Wednesday that eleven individuals, including a Piedmont man, have been charged in a multi-count federal indictment for their roles in a wide-ranging conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl and other related offenses.  On February 19, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a twenty-two count sealed indictment alleging the defendants conspired to import the narcotics from Mexico and distribute them throughout the upstate of South Carolina, North Carolina, and elsewhere.  One count of the indictment charges that in October 2018, four of the defendants conspired to smuggle over $1 million in cash from South Carolina to a place outside the United States in exchange for the narcotics.  According to the indictment, the defendants are also charged with maintaining a stash house located in Mountville, South Carolina, where they manufactured and stored controlled substances.
          “Today’s indictment is yet another example of the unwavering commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina to disrupting and dismantling the flow of illegal opioids and other narcotics into our state,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon.  “As the opioid epidemic tightens its grip on families across America, we will continue to join with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute individuals who are peddling these dangerous and deadly drugs into our communities.”
While one defendant remains at large, the individuals arrested today are:
·         Detric Lee McGowan, aka “Fat”, 46, of Piedmont, South Carolina
·         Donald Nathaniel Thomas, Jr. a/k/a, “TJ”, 36, of Greenwood, South Carolina
·         Christopher Jerome Cunningham, 38, of Greenwood, South Carolina
·         Richard Lamond Longshore, 46, of Greenwood, South Carolina
·         Celest Henry Blocker, 67, of Fayetteville, North Carolina
·         Eddie Lee Childs, 49, of Simpsonville, South Carolina
·         Trevor Maurice Hull, 51, of Greenwood, South Carolina
·         Danny Morales Lopez, 29, of Fayetteville, North Carolina
          Each of the above defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison, a fine, plus a term of supervised release.
The following defendants face a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a fine, plus a term of supervised release:
·         Shequita Latoya Holloway, 34, of Greenwood, South Carolina
·         Lauren Brooke Poore, 35, of Piedmont, South Carolina
          The indictment follows multi-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF Program is a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Its principal mission is to identify,
disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug-trafficking organizations primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.  This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (HIDTA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Greenwood Police Department, Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Department of Public Safety, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Leesa Washington and Sloan P. Ellis in the Greenville office.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.