UNION COUNTY — Eight Midlands residents were arrested within the space of a few hours earlier this week for allegedly attempting to bring heroin and methamphetamine to motels in Union County.
In a statement released this afternoon, Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced that narcotics officers with his office arrested eight people overnight on Tuesday, July 31. Taylor said that the officers had received information that a vehicle was coming to Union to deliver a quantity of illegal drugs to one of the local motels. He said the vehicle was described as a white in color Chrysler 200 with “Love Bug” written on the rear bumper and was coming through the Whitmire area into Union County on US 176.
Taylor said narcotics officers set up surveillance on the location and observed the Chrysler 200 pull into the location on South Duncan Bypass. He said the narcotics officers converged on the vehicle and detained the occupants and told them why they were being detained. The vehicle was occupied by three women and Taylor said they were handcuffed during the search of the vehicle.
During the search, Taylor said each of the occupants were asked if they had illegal drugs in the vehicle and were asked if they had illegal drugs in their possession. Taylor said the women stated they did not have any illegal drugs on them or in the vehicle. He said they consented to be searched and a female deputy searched them.
Taylor said that the female deputy’s search of the women turned up the following:
• A Belbuc (600 MCG) in the rear pants pocket of Melissa Lynn Blodgette, 38, 919 Clay Hill Road, Pelion.
• A baggie of a clear, crystal-like rock substance in the bra of Christina Elizabeth Lindemuth, 46, 102 17th Street, West Columbia.
In additition, Taylor said that the search of the car itself by narcotic officers turned up an unused syringe and digital scales.
Taylor said that Blodgette and Lindemuth were placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Detention Center. He said that Lindemuth was charged with trafficking methamphetamine 10 grams or more but less 28 grams first offense while Blodgette was charged with conspiracy to sell drugs.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 1, Taylor said narcotics officers received information that a female was bringing a quantity of heroin and methamphetamines to another motel location in Union County. Taylor said that at approximately 2 a.m. narcotic officers observed a gold Dodge Stratus pull into the parking lot near the meet location. He said they observed the four occupants get out of the car and saw them doing something inside the trunk. The occupants then got back in the car and pulled out of the location and officers stopped the vehicle which Taylor said was displaying a paper tag.
Taylor said that Ashley Nicole Jeffcoat, 30, 132 Maple Ridge Court, Lexington, was driving the car, while Brittany LeAnn Mcrae, 32, 131 Mimosa Drive, Gaston, was the passenger in the front seat. He said that a K-9 drug dog was deployed and gave a positive indication of the presence of narcotics odors.
Mcrae was charged with possession with intent to distribut a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of methamphetamine while Jeffcoat was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
The other occupants of the car were also arrested and Taylor said that Chole Marie Lempesis, 20, 3372 Wessinger Road, Chapin, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute heroin while Felicia Desire Hamilton, 20, 201 Hiller Road, Chapin, was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of methamphetamine.
Later that same morning, Taylor said narcotics officers received information that two more individuals were on the way to Union to deliver a quantity of drugs to a motel on the South Duncan-Bypass. Taylor said that at approximately 3:45 a.m. deputies received word that the vehicle was on the Duncan Bypass headed south. He said narcotics officers stopped the vehicle near the intersection of Hart Street and South Duncan Bypass and two people were detained.
Taylor said the driver was identified as Charles Lester Knox, 35, 261 Calvery Church Road, Swanson, who was charged with driving under suspension 2nd offense and possession of a stolen vehicle. He said the passenger, Otis Jefferson Smith, 37, 216 Herithee Trail, Lexington, was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In announcing the arrests, Taylor praised the narcotics officers of his office “for the work they are doing to combat the ongoing drug problem in Union County. This is a perfect example of how transit the drug business is today. That people from the Midlands are willing to drive to Union County to sell illegal drugs.”