DOJ arrests 19 people in multi-state drug ring
Rock Hill, SC (WOLO) — The Department of Juvenile (DOJ) has arrested nineteen people in connection to a multi-state drug ring that officials say was being run out of both Rock Hill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to authorities, one of the suspects is 51 year old Patricia Hemphill who was sentenced to 3 years in Federal prison Wednesday.
Officials say The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with the assistance of York County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit were able to investigate a group of people they say were getting large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana from a distributor in California.
As a result of that investigation, law enforcement agencies say they were able to determine the group of now defendants in the case, were flying to California and having the illegal substances sent to the Carolinas. Investigators say after they received the drugs they were then given to area dealers.
According to authorities, this one group was able to ship more than 250 packages over a one year period. Officials say the shipments included five kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, one kilogram or more of heroin, and more than 1000 grams of marijuana. Law enforcement agencies say the individuals also used fentanyl to make more than 1 million counterfeit Roxicodone pills, that they say were later sold in areas like Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and Atlanta.
According to officials, evidence presented in court showed Hemphill allowed her son to use her house in distributing some of these drugs to others in the area.
Nineteen defendants total have been charged in connection with the case, were charged in this case. Sixteen defendants, including Hemphill and her son Darryl Hemphill, have pleaded guilty.
The additional three defendants were convicted at trial back in August 2022 and will be sentenced at a later date.
United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Hemphill to 36 months imprisonment, which authorities say will be followed by 4 years of court-ordered supervision with no parole which is not offered in the Federal system.