17 defendants charged in Midlands-based federal drug conspiracy
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– According to authorities, 17 individuals have been arrested following a multi-year investigation into a methamphetamine distribution ring operating out of the Lexington area.
The arrests come after an over two year long investigation conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement. Authorities say approximately 35 kilograms of methamphetamine, 116 firearms and various quantities of heroin and fentanyl were all seized during the investigation.
The investigation began July 2017, when officials say they identified several individuals as methamphetamine suppliers for distributors in the Lexington area. Authorities say they utilized controlled purchases, confidential informants and other tactics to identify and arrest the individuals involved.
The organizations conducting the investigation were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Authorities say the following individuals have been charged in connection with the drug trafficking ring:
- Matthew Ward, 36, of Lexington
- Alecia Youngblood, 38, of Lexington
- Cynthia Rooks, 52, of Lexington
- Rebecca Martinez, 33, of Lexington
- Richard Ford, 62, of Lexington
- Amber Hoffman, 26, of Lexington
- Samuel Judy, 29, of Lexington
- Brian Bruce, 48, of West Columbia
- Montana Barefoot, 25, of Lexington
- John Johnson, 36, of Gaston
- Benjamin Singleton, 46, of Gaston
- Kayla Mattoni, 38, of Lexington
- Clifford Kyzer, 35, of Lexington
- Kelly Jordan, 34, of Williamston
- Kelly Still, 43, of Windsor
- Tiffanie Brooks, 36, of Columbia
- Robert Figueroa, 43, of West Columbia