Home Columbia Press Releases 2013 FBI Task Force Arrests Eight Individuals in Connection with Violations of Federal Drug Trafficking Laws

FBI Task Force Arrests Eight Individuals in Connection with Violations of Federal Drug Trafficking Laws

FBI Columbia November 07, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Denise Taiste (803) 551-4200

David A. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Columbia Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bill Nettles, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, announce the arrest of eight members of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in South Carolina.

The charges are the result of a one year criminal investigation conducted by the FBI’s Columbia Violent Gang Task Force (CVGTF). The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint indicates that the investigation uncovered a DTO responsible for acquiring and distributing multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Midlands and other areas of South Carolina. The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint notes that the investigation began in the spring of 2013 and targeted the criminal activities of Midlands area street gang members and their illegal drug suppliers. According to the affidavit, the individuals who were arrested today were working together to purchase multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine and then sell that cocaine in both powder and crack cocaine form to street dealers, some of whom are local gang members.

The defendants arrested today were charged in a federal complaint, alleging they violated Title 21 United States Code (USC) Section 841, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine; Title 21 USC Section 846, conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine; and Title 21 USC Section 843(b), use of a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. These defendants and others are believed to be the primary cocaine suppliers for many of the local street gangs whose drug trafficking and violence have inundated our communities. This investigation was designed to disrupt the drug supply network of multiple violent gangs operating in Columbia and dismantle a major drug trafficking organization from operating in the community. It is anticipated this investigation will lead to a significant number of federal indictments and arrests in the near future, which will have a positive impact in the affected communities.

In conjunction with today’s arrests, the CVGTF served seven federal search warrants: five search warrants in Columbia, South Carolina; two in Northeast Columbia; one in the Starlight Neighborhood; one on S. Beltline Boulevard; one in the area of Two Notch Road and Fontaine Road; one search warrant in Eutawville, South Carolina; and one search warrant in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The searches resulted in the seizure of multiple kilograms of cocaine, several firearms, and large sum of U.S. currency.

The following defendants charged in the federal complaint were arrested today:

  • LAMARIO VINCENT WRIGHT, aka “Mickelton Gadson” and “K.B.”
  • RANDY LEE JOHNSON, JR., aka “Bo Skete”
  • KELVIN ALEXANDER JOHNSON, aka “Smiley”
  • DEVIN ORLDANDO DENNIS, aka “Dutch”
  • ROBERT JO JAMISON, aka “Jo Jo”, “City Boy” and “City”
  • CHARLIE WILLEY CLARK, JR., aka “Slim”
  • STEPHEN MICHAEL GRAHAM, aka “Money Mike”
  • LAVON MYERS, aka “Road Master”

This operation was designed to disrupt the drug supply network of multiple violent gangs operating in Columbia and remove a major drug trafficking organization from the community. It is anticipated this investigation will lead to a significant number of federal indictments and arrests in the near future, which will have a positive impact in the affected communities.

According to SAC Thomas, “Dismantling violent gangs is a continuing priority for the FBI. We share a long commitment with our law enforcement partners to address the dangerous threat facing our communities today. The charges demonstrate our focus and determination to strike at gangs related enterprises and to eliminate the terror these groups inflict on our neighborhoods.”

The FBI recognizes one of the best ways to reduce gang violence is by taking the gangs off of the streets. The best way to take the gangs of the streets is by attacking them where they make money, the drug trade. Using the federal drug laws to go after violent gangs and drug trafficking organizations responsible for pedaling poison in our communities is one of the most effective ways law enforcement can proactively prevent gang and drug related violence from occurring.

The CVGTF is part of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force initiative. The CVGTF is an investigative and enforcement partnership between the FBI, Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), Columbia Police Department (CPD), South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the South Carolina National Guard Counterdrug Program. SAC Thomas would like to thank all the CVGTF member agencies, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), for their outstanding efforts, participation, and assistance with this investigation.

An arrest warrant is based on an indictment or complaint, which is an accusation that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws and, in itself, is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until such time as they are adjudicated guilty in a court of law.

All media inquiries regarding this press release should be directed to Ms. Denise M. Taiste, Public Affairs Specialist, at 803.551.4352 or by e-mail at denise.taiste@ic.fbi.gov.