Man facing drug charges after chase

By: By Charles Warner -

JONESVILLE — The Union County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for the arrest on drug-related charges of a Union man who was found hiding on the back porch of a house in Jonesville after leading four law enforcement agencies on a two-county chase.

An incident report filed by the Sheriff’s Office states that an arrest warrant has been issued for Willie James Rice, 406 S. Mountain St., Union, for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of cocaine third or more offense.

The report states that shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday deputies were notified by dispatch of a vehicle pursuit coming from Spartanburg County. It states that when the vehicle entered Union County, deputies joined in the pursuit of the vehicle which ended on Elm Street in the Jonesville area when the driver lost control of his car and crashed.

Even without a vehicle, however, the drive, later identified as Rice, was not done trying to escape. The report states he got out of the wrecked vehicle and fled on foot. A K-9 Unit was called to the scene and began tracking Rice, leading deputies to a nearby residence where Rice was found to be hiding.

Rice was then taken into custody and the report states that a search of his person turned up a bag containing a green leaf substance believed to be marijuana, a bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, and currency. The report states a criminal history check was run on Rice which lead to the charges being filed against him.

In an interview with The Union Times Sunday afternoon, Sheriff David Taylor said that the pursuit of Rice began in the City of Spartanburg. Taylor said that Rice was pursued by the Spartanburg Police Department and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. He said a BOLO (Be On The Look Out) alarm was issued for Rice’s vehicle which was subsequently spotted in the Town of Pacolet where the Pacolet Police Department joined in the pursuit.

Taylor said that in Union County the pursuit of Rice’s vehicle continued down SC 9 to Elm Street where that portion of the chase came to an end when the car crashed and Rice fled on foot. He said that the search for Rice involving the K-9 Unit last approximately 30 minutes when the bloodhound lead deputies to a house Pineneedle Street in Jonesville. Taylor said Rice was hiding in the enclosed back porch of the house. He said that Rice had locked the porch’s storm door.

After being taken into custody, the incident report states that Rice was transported to the Spartanburg County Jail by the Pacolet Police Department. It states that a hold was placed on Rice for Union County at the jail.

Taylor said that the hold on Rice means that in the event Rice makes bond in Spartanburg County, he will be held at the jail until deputies can take into custody and bring him back to Union County to be formally charged.

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Pursued by law enforcement in two counties

By Charles Warner

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.