CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A multi-agency team of state and local law enforcement officers on Wednesday announced that charges have been brought against 13 individuals as part of a months-long investigation.
“Operation Cash Out” brought together the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Homeland Security, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Charleston Police Department, North Charleston Police Department, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Summerville Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Charleston County Aviation Authority Police Department, and the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
According to Acting US Attorney for the District of South Carolina, M. Rhett Dehart, nine of the 13 individuals were taken into custody “for their roles in an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy that operated in the Charleston area.” The arrests are connected to a federal case “targeting alleged members of the violent street gang, West Cash.”
Those taken into custody in the Lowcountry include:
- Antwan Xavier Grant, aka “Twan,” (22) of Charleston
- Tevin Jermaine Fulmore, aka “Goon,” (27) of North Charleston
- Zyshonne Tremonte Dayon Gantt, aka “Z Man,” (22) of Charleston
- Rashad Montez Heyward-Williams, aka “Boola Bucks,” (28) of Charleston
- De’Andre Marquel Williams, aka “Riley” and “Rilo,” (24) of Charleston
- Essence Tamia Cemon Ancrum, aka “Poopie,” (24) of North Charleston
- Antonio Snipe, Jr., aka “Bruiser,” (22) of Charleston
- Demetrius Samire Costen, aka “Meechie,” (27) of North Charleston
- Jackie Benson, (46) of Summerville
The Charleston County Sheriff, Kristin Graziano said many of those in custody are those who were either on bond, parole, or had ankle monitors on them.
Investigators believe that from September of 2016 forward, “six of the thirteen defendants conspired to possess and distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.”
Many of the suspects are also facing charges for lying to gun dealers in order to purchase firearms, including an AR 15 pistol, FN 5.7 pistols, and a Glock 29.
“Violent gang activity will never be tolerated in South Carolina,” Dehart said. He continued, saying “the United States Attorney’s Office and our local, state, and federal partners will not stop in our efforts to stop major drug traffickers, who use guns and violence to advance their activities.”
Chief Luther Reynolds with the Charleston Police Department said he has not been to one single community where someone has not asked him to help lower violence in their areas. He said, “we are not gonna stand on the sidelines and tolerate that and everybody in this community in unison is tired of this violence…we are doing something about this today and we are gonna do a lot more”.
The current 9 that are in custody will be arraigned in Federal Court on Friday.