Beaufort County, SC Drug Bust
Posted in the Ridgeland Forum
#1 Aug 24, 2012
18 Beaufort residents charged with distributing OxyContin and cocaine
Following the arrest of 11 Beaufort area residents on Wednesday, August 22, 18 people including the 11 were charged in Federal indictments unsealed in Charleston on Thursday with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The indictments, which were filed on August 15, state that the accused did “knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity oxyContin commonly known as ‘OxyContin,’‘Percocet,’ and ‘Roxicodone’ and cocaine, both Schedule II controlled substances”. If convicted, they face sentences that could range from 5 years up to life in prison, depending upon the circumstances. They are:
Hunter Banks Coates
David Heape Harriott
Jason Heape Harriott
Jeremy Heape Harriott
Leon Edward Hudson, Jr.
Anthony Jarvis King
Sam Elliott Langford
Carson Reed Lewin
Steven Leonard Parker
Randall Gilbert Smith
Katherine Marie Swiatocha
Donta Mikel Williams
Unsealing of the indictments follows the arrest of 11 of the individuals in Beaufort on Wednesday. They were transported to Federal authorities in Charleston to attend a court hearing on Thursday. Most of the others had been arrested on other charges in the weeks leading up to this week’s dramatic events. Additional indictments and arrests may be pending according to a spokesperson at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The arrests and indictments follow reports covered extensively in The Beaufort Tribune in May about massive Federal efforts to combat OxyContin distribution and abuse in Florida and nearby states including South Carolina. Those reports involved medical doctors. None of the local persons arrested or indicted this week is a doctor.
The Beaufort Tribune highlighted in May and early June the increasing overpresciption and usage of opioid pain relievers, known as OPRs, in South Carolina and Florida. The Tribune’s articles revealed the increasing involvement of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Justice Department prosecutors in cracking down on doctors and pharmacies.
The Tribune featured in May a number of articles relating to Lowcountry Medical Group of Beaufort and one of its physicians, local family practitioner Dr. David Vincent Rhodes, who in early May was placed on indefinite leave by the group and whose medical license has been temporarily suspended by the S.C. Board of Medical Examiners following the announcement of a DEA criminal investigation.
#2 Aug 24, 2012
S.C. Medical Board suspends Dr. Vincent Rhodes’ medical license
The S.C. Board of Medical Examiners has placed on temporary suspension the medical license of Dr. David Vincent Rhodes of Beaufort, according to information posted on the board’s website today, Wednesday, May 23.
Dr. Rhodes has been a practicing physician at Lowcountry Medical Group. The group recently announced in a letter to all patients that he has taken an indefinite leave of absence following a report, first published on May 10 by The Beaufort Tribune, that he is under investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
#3 Mar 1, 2013
It's nice to finally see tax dollars put to work putting real bad guys in jail instead of ruining a college kids potential future over a dime bag of weed. The local beaufort PD should take notes. So many kids are hooked on these pills and ruining their and their familys lives while nothing is being done.
#4 Nov 20, 2013
Let's all recall that these are people who have families and people who are loved by them. Be careful who you judge it may be your Uncle Brother or Sister next.
#5 Feb 19, 2014
And the atrocity continues. My son who just turned 20 is sitting in jail tonite, addicted to the same drug; who knows how long he's been taking it. If there is not a class action suit out there yet filed by affected families I'm going to start one
#6 Feb 20, 2014
Beaufort SC. I agree with Finally as I am a victim of this horrific crime against the citizens of the Beaufort area. Besides the kids getting hooked on the drug, the families suffer also. My son is going to be heading to rehab, hopefully soon. He sits in jail awaiting the opportunity to do so. All his prior arrests seem now to stem from the fact that he is hooked on these drugs and needed money. Shame on that doctor and others that would be so selfish as to endanger the health of these kids and safety of each and every one of us. I thought doctors took an oath to serve. I hope to find the disposition of his case and that he will be in prison for a long time to think about what he has done to this community. I also hope that the kids are able to obtain counseling and rehabilitation to overcome their addictions and move forward with their lives.
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