• 90°

Roundup nets 17 drug arrests

A roundup in Butler County put 17 suspected drug dealers behind bars Thursday.

Officers with Second Judicial Drug Task Force, the Greenville Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office took part in the roundup.

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram credited the success of the roundup to cooperation between the local law enforcement agencies.

“We work extremely well here in Butler County,” Ingram said. “The Greenville Police Department, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force work extremely hard to stop this kind of activity.”

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said the raid netted the arrest of all but three suspected dealers that were targeted by authorities during the raid, which took place in the early morning hours.

“We set out to get 20 people,” Harden said. “Out of 20 people we got 17 today. We’re still looking for some more. It was a good day for us. We were able to get some drugs off the street.”

All 17 arrested have been charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, but some may face additional charges, according to Harden.

The following individuals were arrested as part of the roundup:

  • Jeremy Womack
  • Christopher Ward Jr.
  • Barbara Davis
  • Craig Griffin
  • Delrone Boggan
  • Derrick Powell
  • Jermaine Riley
  • Jimmy Owens
  • Keith Thompson
  • McCarthy Tyson
  • Shekeika McWilliams
  • Shelton Stinson
  • Tammy Rhodes
  • Tracy Shine
  • Victoria Bones
  • Casey Thorrell
  • Shermane Patton

“It’s sad when people make a conscious decision to (sell drugs), but it’s nobody’s fault but theirs,” Ingram said. “They made that decision and therefore if you’re going to sell drugs in Greenville and Butler County, eventually we’re going to come see you.”

Harden said efforts, such as Thursday’s roundup, help reduce the county’s overall crime rate.

“The Drug Task Force does an excellent job,” he said. “Last year Butler County was named the safest county in the state, and Greenville was the safest city in the state. That has a lot to do with the work the Drug Task Force does. … When you cut down on drugs, you cut down on the crime in your community. A lot of your burglaries, robberies and thefts are because people are looking for a way to get money to buy drugs. If you take the folks that are selling the drugs off the street, then there’s no one for people to buy the drugs from, and that cuts down on your crime. These roundups are making a difference.”