News Archive

Graniteville Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 22, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Cameron Joseph Brooks, 21, of Graniteville, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Columbia Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Brooks solicited and received child sexual abuse material from a minor and shared sexually explicit images with a minor.  …

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Greenwood County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 20, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Noah Mackenzie Martin, 22, of Greenwood, S.C., on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Martin. Investigators…

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Ladson Man Arrested on Criminal Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 20, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Alan Craig Brown, 66, of Ladson, S.C., on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Charleston County and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Offices, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Brown solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex.   Brown was arrested on January 19, 2021.  He is charged…

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York County Men Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 19, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ricky Craig Weinberg, 62, of Rock Hill, S.C., and Robert Norman Brookhart, 51, of Fort Mill, S.C., on 21 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests in these unrelated cases. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Rock Hill Police Department, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with these investigations.   Investigators received CyberTipline reports from the National Center for…

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Charleston Man Arrested on Criminal Solicitation of a Minor and Related Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 15, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Danny Shawn Daugherty, 49, of Charleston, S.C., on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Daugherty solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex and sent a sexually explicit image to…

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Nationstar (Mr. Cooper) Settlement Information

Individual settlements for Nationstar (Mr. Cooper) are being handled by a third party administrator.  The number is 1-866-404-0137 and it is a recording at this time until individual notices go out sometime in January.  After the notices are mailed a live representative will be available to speak with you at the 866 number.  We do not have individual information or know if you are qualified for the settlement.  Here is a link to their website which you may wish to check periodically for updates:   http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com/   https://nationalnationstarsettlement.com/Home/portalid/0

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 14, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Monty Walker, 70, of Columbia, S.C., on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Walker distributed files of child sexual abuse material.     Walker was arrested on January 13, 2021. He is charged with six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor,…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 50 State Attorneys General in Condemning Attack on the U.S. Capitol

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Jan. 13, 2021 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a bipartisan coalition of 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, in sending a letter to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen condemning the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and stating such actions cannot be allowed to go unchecked. “Our Constitution guarantees everyone the right to protest peacefully, but the First Amendment does not shelter those who kill, injure, or destroy property, no matter their cause,” Attorney General Wilson said. The letter, led by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, District of Columbia Attorney…

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SC Human Trafficking annual report shows changes in Top 5 counties

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 11, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force’s 2020 Annual Report today at the Statehouse. It showed a change in the top five counties reporting the crime. The report details the efforts of the State Task Force to combat human trafficking. Member efforts continue to assist victims, prosecute traffickers, and prevent human trafficking from happening in our state. Attorney General Wilson welcomed leadership from state agencies, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the State Legislature to share in the report’s release. Attorney General Wilson reported the…

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North Carolina Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Benjamin Holland Weaver, 20, of Raleigh, N.C. on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Furman University Police Department assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Weaver. Investigators state Weaver…

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Kershaw County Men Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Tim Daniel Gilbert, 56, and Jeffrey Barrett Howe, 44, both of Elgin, S.C., on seven total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrests in these unrelated cases. Investigators with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, Camden Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with these investigations.   Investigators state Gilbert distributed and Howe possessed…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 7, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher John Fletcher, 49, of Murrells Inlet, S.C., on 14 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Fletcher. Investigators state Fletcher distributed files of child sexual abuse material.  …

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Anderson County man sent to prison for possession of child sexual abuse material

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 7, 2021- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that an Anderson County man has been sent to prison for six years for possessing child sexual abuse material. O’Rondias Torray Johnson, represented by Druanne White, pleaded guilty on January 5, 2021, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, in front of Judge Cordell Maddox in Anderson County. In May 2017, Johnson sent child sexual abuse material via a file sharing network to Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office. After identifying Johnson, investigators executed a search warrant at his residence…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson files unfair labor practice charge to protect workers at SC Ports Authority

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 6, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and the South Carolina Ports Authority today filed an unfair labor practice charge against the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), its Local 1422, and the United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX). The state is taking this action to protect the jobs of hundreds of South Carolinians working for the SC Ports Authority and the investment that the SCPA and state taxpayers have made in a highly competitive port system.   The charge alleges that the ILA and USMX violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by attempting to…

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Union County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 5, 2021 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Douglas Brett Bishop, 53, of Union, S.C., on 18 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office and United States Marshals Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Bishop distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.     Bishop was arrested on December 31, 2020. He is…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 4, 2021- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Clinton Lockridge, 27, of Lexington, S.C., on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Lockridge. Investigators state Lockridge distributed multiple files of child sexual abuse material….

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Criminal Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brandon Scott Moore, 31, of Leesville, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the United States Marshals Service and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Moore solicited sex from a minor.   Moore was arrested on December 23, 2020. He is charged with…

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Lancaster Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Conley, 36, of Lancaster, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Conley possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.   Conley was arrested on December 19, 2020. He is charged with four counts…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictments Alleging Public Corruption by Richland County Councilwoman Dalhi Myers

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Dec. 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued a 24-count indictment regarding allegations of public corruption by Richland County Councilwoman Dalhi Myers. The Attorney General thanked the State Grand Jury Division staff and the agencies that worked on the case.  “This Office is committed to rooting out corruption in state and local government wherever it may be, and the State Grand Jury is a particularly effective tool in pursuing those who would violate the public trust,” he added. On December 17, 2020 the State Grand…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Anthony Carlo Colarusso, 31, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on 16 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Colarusso. Investigators state Colarusso distributed and possessed files of child…

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Johnsonville Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 16, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Terry Jenkins Matthews, Jr., 43, of Johnsonville, S.C., on 14 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Matthews distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.     Matthews was arrested on December 10, 2020. He is…

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AG Wilson joins bipartisan coalition supporting federal legislation to protect safety of federal judges and their families

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 14, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a bipartisan group of 51 Attorneys General in a letter urging Congress to pass legislation aimed at protecting the safety of federal judges and their families. Addressed to leaders of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the letter supports passage of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act or similar legislation. That bill would protect the confidentiality of personal identifying information of members of the federal judiciary in public records, and limit the distribution of that information online and by data brokers. Co-led…

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Kershaw Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Billy Gene Pressley, 55, of Kershaw, S.C., on 13 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the York County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to…

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Union County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of James Edward Belue, III, 37, of Union, S.C., on 21 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Belue. Investigators state Belue distributed and possessed files of child…

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AG Alan Wilson’s statement on Texas election lawsuit

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 9, 2020 – As S.C. Attorney General, I am committed to protecting our voters against disenfranchisement as well as ensuring election integrity. That’s why, in 2012, I successfully defended our state’s voter ID law in federal court. Last month, my office filed a brief with nine other state attorneys general in a Pennsylvania voting lawsuit that’s now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court will soon weigh in on the State of Texas’ suit for alleged unconstitutional acts in four states. Today, we are joining with 16 other state attorneys general in…

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AG Wilson, state and local leaders announce new effort to combat human trafficking in the 11th Circuit

New Regional Human Trafficking Task Force Launches (LEXINGTON, S.C.) – Dec. 8, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced the launch of the Lexington, Edgefield, McCormick, and Saluda (LEMS) Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. The task force is chaired by the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center. As the Chair of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, Attorney General Wilson supports expansion of regional task forces to curtail the crime. Regional task forces are able to better focus on the specific needs of their communities and coordinate a response, while also strengthening the State…

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Lancaster man sentenced to prison for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and making threats

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 7, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Damien James Clark pleaded guilty today to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Second Degree, and one count of Threatening the Life, Person, or Family of a Public Employee. He appeared before the Honorable Judge William McKinnon in Lancaster County. On August 15, 2018, Investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office began investigating an incident involving a 14-year-old girl in Waycross, Georgia, and a person living in Lancaster County.  The girl reported a person known to her as Damien Clark coerced her into sending a nude…

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Florence Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 7, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Stephen Howard Dial, Jr., 37, of Florence, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Dial solicited sex from a minor, engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and encouraged a minor to produce and send sexually explicit images.   Dial was arrested on December 5, 2020. He is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct with…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces 51 AGs reach $86.3 million settlement with mortgage servicer Nationstar

Case settles allegations of past violations affecting thousands of ‘Mr. Cooper’ customers (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 7, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined with 50 other attorneys general and other federal and state agencies to reach an $86.3 million settlement with Nationstar Mortgage. Nationstar is the country’s fourth-largest mortgage servicer. The consent judgment resolves allegations that Nationstar, which does business as “Mr. Cooper,” violated consumer protection laws during its servicing of mortgage loans. The settlement provides restitution for a variety of harms that were identified in the investigation. Thousands of borrowers had problems when their loans were transferred to…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 29, Alleging Conspiracy, Murder, Assault and Battery by Mob, and Prisoners Carrying a Weapon, all resulting from the April 15, 2018 Lee Correctional Institution Riot

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Dec. 3, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments in the case of “Yard Work,” alleging multiple conspiracies and violent acts that occurred during the Lee County Correctional riots of April 15, 2018. After a thorough review by SCDC, SLED, and the Third Circuit Solicitor’s Office, a request was made in December 2019 for initiation of a State Grand Jury to complete the investigation into the Lee Correctional Institution riots.  Despite the difficulties imposed by COVID-19, the State Grand Jury was nevertheless able to…

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Kenney Boone pleads guilty to domestic violence charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 2, 2020 – Former Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone pleaded guilty today in Florence to a charge of Domestic Violence 3rd Degree. The Honorable Judge George McFaddin sentenced Boone to 30 days in jail or a $1,000 fine, suspended upon the successful completion of 26 weeks of domestic abuse counseling. An additional charge of Ill Treatment of Animals was dismissed because there is insufficient evidence that he harmed the cat.

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Lexington County Men Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Greg Daniel Lancelot, Jr., 23, of Cayce, S.C., Patrick Michael Kaminer, 33, of West Columbia, S.C., William E. McConnell, 35, of Cayce, S.C., and Marc D. Romanelli, 50, of Lexington, S.C., on 14 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests in four unrelated cases. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Cayce Department of Public Safety, all also members of…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson and the Home Depot agree on settlement regarding data breach

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that his office and the attorneys general of 45 other states and the District of Columbia have obtained a $17.5 million-dollar settlement against Georgia-based retailer The Home Depot. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach that exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. The State of South Carolina will collect $207,152.80 through this settlement. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware on The Home Depot’s self-checkout point-of-sale…

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Gilbert Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Jacob Barfield, 27, of Gilbert, S.C., on five charges connected to the attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Camden Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Barfield solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex, traveled to meet…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Arthur Leonard Glen, IV, 42, of Mauldin, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Glen distributed files of child sexual abuse material.     Glen was arrested on November 20, 2020. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation…

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Georgia Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Craig Randall Chaires, 68, of Midway, Ga., on four charges connected to the attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Chaires solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex, traveled to meet a person he believed to be a minor for sex, and encouraged them to produce child sexual abuse material.   Chaires was arrested on November 18, 2020. He is…

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Florence Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy Glen Kaylor, 67, of Florence, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Florence Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Kaylor distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.     Kaylor was arrested on November 18, 2020. He…

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AG Alan Wilson Announces $113 Million Settlement with Apple Over iPhone Throttling

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 18, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with a coalition of over 30 other attorneys general led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, announced a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. Based on the multistate investigation, the attorneys general allege that Apple discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, however, Apple concealed the issues…

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Edgefield County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Dustin Aaron Adams, 41, of North Augusta, S.C., on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Adams. Investigators…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ronnie Dawsey, Jr., 37, of Lexington, S.C., on 16 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Dawsey. Investigators state Dawsey engaged in criminal…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson, coalition of Attorneys General file amicus brief in Pennsylvania Supreme Court voting case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Nov. 9, 2020 – Today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a coalition of 10 state attorneys general, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, in filing an amicus brief in Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar. The brief, which can be found here, urges the Supreme Court of the United States to grant writs of certiorari and reverse a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots to be received three days after Election Day, even without postmarks. “Regardless of your political beliefs, I think we can all agree that states need to follow…

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Abbeville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Benjamin Davis Henderson, 34, of Abbeville, S.C., on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Henderson. Investigators state Henderson created, distributed, and…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ronald Stephen Wojdyla, 69, of Goose Creek, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, and Charleston County Sheriff’s Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Virginia State Police (Northern Virginia ICAC TF), assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from…

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Sumter man sentenced to 5 years in prison for Child Sexual Abuse Material

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Anthony Ray “Hammer” Nielson was sentenced today to five years in prison for distributing and possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material. Nielson pleaded guilty on December 4, 2019, to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd Degree, and one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, in front of Judge Kristi Curtis in Sumter County. In August 2016, the defendant sent child sexual abuse material via a file-sharing network to Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office. After identifying the…

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Suspended Colleton Co. Sheriff Strickland pleads guilty

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that suspended Colleton County Sheriff Robert A. “Andy” Strickland, Jr. pleaded guilty to a felony State Grand Jury charge of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, as well as a State Grand Jury charge of Misconduct in Office, and a Colleton County charge of Assault and Battery Third Degree. For the misconduct and breach of trust charges, the Honorable Judge R. Markley Dennis, Jr. sentenced Strickland to 5 years, suspended upon the service of five years’ probation.  Judge Dennis also ordered 200 hours of community…

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Florence Ringleader Guilty of Insurance Fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Oct. 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Renara Jessica Burgess, 33, of Florence, S.C., entered a plea of guilty on October 15, 2020 on insurance fraud charges. Burgess pleaded guilty to two counts of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000.     The Honorable Michael G. Nettles accepted the plea. In exchange for her guilty plea, Burgess was sentenced to 10 years, suspended upon 90 days in jail, plus five years of probation, and held responsible for $60,000 in restitution of claims she filed on her own behalf.   This…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces recovery of over $60,000 stolen from taxpayers by Medicaid fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 21, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that his Medicaid Recipient Fraud division has recovered just over $60,000 in fraudulently obtained Medicaid benefits from a recipient in the Charleston County area. This was not a conviction in court so we cannot name the recipient, due to privacy restrictions. The recipient got the Medicaid benefits over several years and, after our investigation, agreed to repay $61,669.30, which the Attorney General’s Office received October 20. “This is a victory for taxpayers, who are happy to help their neighbors in need but certainly don’t want their tax money…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 20, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Glenn Joseph Rogers, 53, of Greer, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Rogers. Investigators state Rogers distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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South Carolina Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws

South Carolina Joins DOJ and 10 other states in Filing Complaint Against Google to Restore Competition in Search and Search Advertising Markets (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 20, 2020 – Today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson — along with the Department of Justice and ten other state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 16, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ryan John Hibma, 33, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hibma. Investigators state Hibma distributed and possessed files of child…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Corbin Anderson Fentress, 21, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Roanoke (VA) County Police Department assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Fentress. Investigators…

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York County man sentenced to 18 years for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 12, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that Richard Austin, III, entered a plea to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree, and one count of Voyeurism in York County in front of Judge William McKinnon. On June 12, 2019, concerned citizens turned in a cell phone to the Fort Mill Police Department after they discovered it contained child sexual abuse material. An investigator with the York County Sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the device. The investigation determined the cell phone belonged to Austin and the search revealed 175…

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Attorney General Wilson announces updated settlement with opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 12, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced an update to a global settlement framework agreement between state attorneys general, local subdivisions, and the opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt (MNK), its subsidiaries, and certain other affiliates. Under the new settlement, MNK will pay $1.6 billion into a trust as described below. MNK is currently the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the United States. “While the opioid crisis continues to claim the lives of South Carolinians, this improved agreement with MNK represents an important step in my Office’s ongoing efforts to hold accountable those who are responsible for the…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Oct. 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Dallas Eugene Walls, II, 55, of Heath Springs, S.C., on 12 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), all members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Walls engaged in multiple acts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, as well…

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The Coronavirus is Novel but Crisis-related Scams are Nothing New

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 9, 2020 – The Securities Division of the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General, along with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and FINRA, have joined together to encourage investors to proceed cautiously with new investment opportunities. Investors should be aware that fraudsters may try to take advantage of the buzz surrounding companies promoting products and services related to the coronavirus pandemic. With the world focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters continue to peddle supposed miracle cures or purportedly innovative technologies and are preying upon unsuspecting investors. Investors should be wary of schemes they see…

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Clarendon County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Thomas Spulecki, Sr., 63, of Manning, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Spulecki distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.     Spulecki was arrested on October 7, 2020.  He is charged with…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson obtains judgment resolving Community Health Systems data breach investigation

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with the attorneys general of 27 other states, has obtained a judgment against Tennessee-based CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc., and its subsidiary, CHSPSC LLC.  This judgment resolves an investigation of a data breach that impacted approximately 6.1 million patients, including 400,903 from the state of South Carolina. At the time of the data breach, CHS owned, leased, or operated 206 affiliated hospitals nationwide. Exposed in the breach were the names, birthdates, social security numbers, phone numbers, and addresses of patients. The judgment, agreed to by CHS, requires…

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Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2019 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Oct. 6, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 23rd annual Silent Witness Ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia. During this year’s virtual ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of 36 women and six (6) men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year. Volunteers held life-sized silhouettes representing victims as they stood on the State House steps. A bell was rung for each victim as their name was read aloud. An additional 43rd…

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Marion City Council member charged with Medicaid fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Latashia (Tassie) Vasthi Lewis was charged on September 25th with Medical Assistance Provider Fraud. Lewis turned herself in that morning to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County. Lewis is a member of the Marion City Council. She is charged with filing false claims under the Medicaid program. The arrest warrant alleges that, between November 1, 2019 and May 1, 2020, while working as a home health aide for Addus Healthcare, Lewis submitted fraudulent time entries indicating that she had provided care to a client…

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23rd Annual Silent Witness Ceremony to be held virtually

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the 23rd Annual Silent Witness Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 6th, at 10 a.m. at the South Carolina Statehouse. This ceremony recognizes the women and men who died as a result of domestic violence in 2019 and brings attention to one of the state’s major public health and criminal concerns. Due to the pandemic, community members are invited to attend the ceremony virtually via the South Carolina Attorney General’s Facebook Live page, @SCAttyGen.

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Former Spartanburg deputy coroner sentenced to 15 years for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 1, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that former Spartanburg deputy coroner Kip Teal has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in the 3rd degree. Teal accepted an Alford plea on Monday in Spartanburg before the Honorable Judge R. Keith Kelly. An Alford plea is a guilty plea by a defendant who maintains his innocence but admits there is enough evidence to prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. State Law Enforcement Division agents arrested Teal in March 2019 and charged him with three counts…

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Chesterfield Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Roger Dale Baskins, 39, of Chesterfield, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Baskins. Investigators state Baskins distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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FTC, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Phantom and Abusive Debt Collection

(COLUMBIA, S.C) – Sept. 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with the Federal Trade Commission and more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners, today announced a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative to protect consumers from phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices. The initiative, called Operation Corrupt Collector, includes enforcement actions brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 different states against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices. “In order to protect the citizens of South Carolina, it is important to raise awareness about corrupt debt…

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North Carolina Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept.25, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Wesley Dalton Helms, 24, of Hickory, N.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this case.   Investigators state Helms possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.     Helms was arrested on September 25, 2020.  He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson and Secretary of State Mark Hammond Join with CFTC to Charge Precious Metals Dealers in $185 Million Scheme Targeting Elderly Investors

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 25, 2020 –  Attorney General Alan Wilson and Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today that they are participating in a consolidated nationwide enforcement action to halt a fraudulent precious metals scheme that has solicited $185 million from at least 1,600 seniors and other investors. The Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office, announced today that it has joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 29 other states in filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleging Metals.com and Barrick Capital Inc. defendants solicited $185 million from…

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Union County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Allen Todd, 22, of Buffalo, S.C., on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Todd. Investigators state Todd distributed and…

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AG Wilson Announces $60 Million Multistate Settlement with C.R. Bard

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Sept. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced a settlement by 48 states and the District of Columbia with C.R. Bard, Inc. and its parent company Becton, Dickinson and Company requiring payment of $60 million for the deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices. Surgical mesh is a synthetic knitted or woven fabric that is permanently implanted in the pelvic floor through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.  These are common conditions faced by women due to a weakening in their pelvic floor muscles caused by childbirth, age,…

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State Grand Jury issues Public Corruption and Narcotics indictments against Chester County Supervisor Kenneth Shane Stuart

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that South Carolina State Grand Jury indictments were unsealed today against Chester County Supervisor Kenneth Shane Stuart. These indictments charge not only public corruption but also narcotics offenses.   Stuart, 47, has served as the elected Chester County Supervisor since March of 2015. He was re-elected to another four year term in November of 2018.   In the first indictment, venued in Chester County, Stuart was charged with Conspiracy, Distribution of Methamphetamine (2 counts), and Common Law Misconduct in Office. The penalty for Conspiracy is up to…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Theodore Woolings Bye, III, 35, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on 26 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Myrtle Beach Police Department, assisted with this case.   Investigators state Bye encouraged a minor victim to produce and send sexually explicit images and…

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AG Wilson announces Dorchester Co. man sent to prison for 6 years for child sexual abuse material

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Mark Alan Miller today entered a guilty plea to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree in Dorchester County and was sentenced to six years in prison. On June 15, 2017, Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office conducted a proactive investigation into the use of a file sharing site for the distribution and possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Inv. Atkins found one user requesting suspected CSAM files. Further investigation revealed that this user was located in…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy James Walker, Sr., 66, of Anderson, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Walker solicited a minor for sex, distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material and encouraged a minor to engage…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Randy Michael Faulkner, 62, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Faulkner. Investigators state Faulkner distributed files of child sexual…

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AG Wilson announces former ITT students to get $330 million in debt relief in settlement

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 16, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson has secured an agreement to obtain $8.6 million in debt relief for approximately 1,000 former ITT Tech students in South Carolina as part of a settlement with 48 attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nationally, the settlement will result in debt relief of about $330 million for 35,000 borrowers who have outstanding principal balances. The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 11, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Russell Dean Stokes, 52, of Taylors, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Stokes. Investigators state Stokes distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 11, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Vicente Montes Higuera, 54, of Gaston, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Higuera. Investigators state Higuera distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 10, 2020 –  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jaron Rashaunn Butler, 22, of Greenville, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Butler engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor, as well as encouraged a minor to produce and send files of child sexual abuse material*.   Butler was arrested on September 8, 2020.  He is charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor,…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Trent Cornell Bewley, 26, of Greenville, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Bewley. Investigators state Bewley distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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AG Wilson applauds President Trump’s moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 8 ,2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the following statement after President Trump announced a moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. “I want to thank the Trump administration for listening to our concerns and announcing this moratorium,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We had sued the federal government to protect South Carolina’s coast from oil and gas exploration and drilling. This is a step in the right direction and we will remain vigilant in protecting South Carolina’s coast and economy.”

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Georgetown Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 4, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Taurean Kerrington Howard, 36, of Georgetown, S.C., on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Howard distributed child sexual abuse material.     Howard was arrested on September 2, 2020. He is charged with one count of…

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Camden Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 3, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Eugene Durant, 44, of Camden, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and Camden Police Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to…

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SC Victims’ Services Groups Awarded Almost $37 Million in Grants

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 3, 2020 – Groups that help crime victims across South Carolina will soon be getting almost $37 million in federal and state grants. The S.C. Public Safety Coordinating Council formally approved the grants earlier this year and the projects begin October 1, 2020. The grants are distributed by the South Carolina Crime Victim Services Division in the Attorney General’s Office. The division was added to the Attorney General’s Office by state law in 2017.  It was combined from offices in the S.C. Department of Public Safety and the S.C. Department of Administration. There are three different…

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Attorney General Wilson Announces Largest Single Legal Settlement in South Carolina History

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 31, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that the State of South Carolina and the United States government have reached a $600 million settlement to end six years of litigation related to the remaining 9.5 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium relocated to the Savannah River Site in the early 2000s. Under the terms of the of the settlement, the United States will pay South Carolina $600 million immediately, and the Department of Energy remains obligated to remove the plutonium by 2037. South Carolina will allow the Department of Energy 16.5 years to remove the…

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AG Wilson part of coalition of 20 Attorneys General urging President to support the National Child ID Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – August 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is part of a coalition of 20 Attorneys General asking President Donald J. Trump to make funding available to support The National Child ID Act (The National Child ID Program). The Act would help both parents and law enforcement better protect children from exploitation, abduction and human trafficking. This legislation would enable each state, through their Attorney General, to have the opportunity to request grant funding to purchase kits for their Kindergarten through 6th grade children. Each kit costs $1.76 per child, an incredibly small amount for the life…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of James D. Anthony, 63, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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Belton Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – August 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jason Allen Bowles, 40, of Belton, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Bowles distributed files of child sexual abuse material.     Bowles was arrested on august 27, 2020. He is charged with four counts…

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Former teacher sent to prison for criminal solicitation of a minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 26, 2020 – A former teacher pleaded guilty to Criminal Solicitation of a Minor and was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday, August 24th. Kenneth Howard McWilliams, represented by Leary McKenzie, pleaded guilty before the Honorable D. Craig Brown in Florence County. Between the dates of April 7 and April 10, 2017, Kenneth McWilliams contacted a minor victim through Facebook Messenger. McWilliams engaged in numerous conversations with the victim that referenced meeting to engage in sexual activity. On April 11, the victim’s mother met with a deputy at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, where…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces a More Than $85 Million Multistate Settlement with American Honda Motor Company, Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 25, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced a more than $85 million multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively “Honda”), over allegations Honda concealed safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. The systems were designed and manufactured by Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, and were first installed in Honda vehicles in the 2001 model year. The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 48 states, territories, and the…

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AG Alan Wilson urges Congress to adopt measures to expand funding for crime victims

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a coalition of state and territorial attorneys general representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories urging Congress to adopt key changes to the Victims of Crime Act that provide critical financial support to victims of violent crimes and their families. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the attorneys general call on Congress to adopt changes to…

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Pennsylvania Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 21, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kevin J. McGuire, Jr., 39, of Spring Grove, PA, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston Police Department made the arrest.   Investigators state McGuire possessed child sexual abuse material*.     McGuire was arrested on August 17, 2020. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.   This case will be…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Tod Ford, 56, of Greenville, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Ford. Investigators state Ford distributed multiple files of child sexual…

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Columbia Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 13, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thos Edward Gates, 79, of Columbia, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Columbia Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Gates distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.     Gates was arrested on August 13, 2020. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation…

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Ware Shoals Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Carl Williamson, 33, of Ware Shoals, S.C., on one charge  connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Eighth Circuit Solicitor’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Charlotte Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor and Related Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kealon Tyler Howard, 25, of  Charlotte, N.C., on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Rock Hill Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) and Virginia Beach (VA) Police Departments assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Howard solicited a minor for sex and distributed a sexually graphic image to a minor.   Howard was arrested on August 5, 2020.  He is charged with one count of criminal…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Scott Stanley Schemmel, 48, of Goose Creek, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 11, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Sean Bandelier, 42, of Gaston, SC, on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Albuquerque (NM) Police Department, a member of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Bandelier engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor, as well as produced and distributed files of child sexual abuse material*.   Bandelier was arrested on…

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AG Wilson part of bipartisan group of 44 AGs urging Congress to pass legislation to protect senior victims of fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general, led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, are urging the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to include Edith’s Bill in COVID-19 relief legislation. This bipartisan legislation would amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to include victims of senior fraud as eligible for reimbursement by the Crime Victims Fund for states that provides compensation to victims. Scam artists know that seniors are especially at risk from COVID-19 and they are…

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AG Wilson Continues to Advocate for Federal Pandemic Liability Protections, Urges Congress to Consider Safe to Work Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 7, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with 21 other state attorneys general, this week co-signed a letter to the U.S. Congress urging the adoption of the protections contained in the Safe to Work Act. This is the latest action by AG Wilson and his colleagues to help mitigate the threat of frivolous COVID-related litigation for much-needed goods and services while still ensuring victims have legal options where appropriate. In the wake of this unprecedented crisis, the extension of appropriate civil liability protections is needed at both the state and federal levels for…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 7, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Matthew Reddy, 27, of Greer, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Reddy. Investigators state Reddy distributed files of child sexual abuse…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 5, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Rony Roselina Antunez-Antunez, 39, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Antunez-Antunez. Investigators state Antunez-Antunez distributed files of child sexual…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 4, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of George Maurice Park, 48, of Greenville, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Park. Investigators state Park distributed…

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Florence County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 4, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Lynn Poley, 36, of Florence, S.C., on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Poley. Investigators state Poley distributed and possessed files of child…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson part of 21-state effort to protect religious freedom

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 3, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is asking the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect the religious freedom of public employees. He joined a 21-state amicus brief filed with the court in a Texas case. Joe Kennedy coached football at Bremerton High School until he was suspended midway through the season for praying silently on the field after each game. The school district prohibited Kennedy from coaching out of baseless fear that his individual prayers violated the Establishment Clause. “No reasonable person would believe that Coach Kennedy’s silent prayers on the football field are government…

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Summerville Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 31, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jocqueus Andredeous Wilson, 39, of Summerville, S.C., on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.     Investigators state Wilson solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex and encouraged them to produce child sexual abuse material.   Wilson was arrested on July 28, 2020. He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense…

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Newberry Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 31, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Frankie Nathaniel Will Praylow, 28, of Newberry, S.C., on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Eighth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Newberry Police Department, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Praylow distributed files of child sexual abuse material.    …

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Gregory Scott Roland, 46, of Columbia, S.C., on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Roland. Investigators state Roland distributed and possessed files of child…

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Inman Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kenneth W. Burch, 70, of Inman, S.C., on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators state Burch distributed files of child sexual abuse material.     Burch was arrested on July 28, 2020. He is charged with two counts…

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Greenwood County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jackie Austin Stewart, 26, of Greenwood, S.C., on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), a member of the N.C. ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Anthony Shaquille Irby, 27, of Taylors, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Irby. Investigators state Irby distributed…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert E. Turner, 59, of Belton, S.C., on 14 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Secret Service, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…

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Myrtle Beach man sentenced to 7 years in prison for child sexual abuse material

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Michael Patrick Pellett pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, before the Honorable Steven H. John in Horry County.  Pellett was represented by Clay Pinkerton. “I want to commend our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is working around the clock in every part of the state to protect our children from these online predators,” Attorney General Wilson said. “This gets one of those predators off our streets and I hope his sentence will be a warning to…

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Operation “Groundhog Day”: State Grand Jury Indicts 39 People Following Investigation of an Alleged Heroin and Methamphetamine Trafficking Organization Operating in the Upstate

(COLUMBIA, SC) –  July 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments of 39 people for their alleged participation in an Upstate drug trafficking conspiracy primarily involving heroin and methamphetamine but also other illegal narcotics. These indictments followed a multi-jurisdictional investigation with cooperation among a number of law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in the Upstate area. These indictments arose from an investigation known as “Groundhog Day.” The State Grand Jury returned seven indictments alleging multiple but connected charges and conspiracies relating to trafficking 28 grams or more…

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AG Wilson Defends Mississippi Law Limiting Abortion After 15 Weeks

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 21, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson late Monday afternoon filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of South Carolina and 17 other States supporting a Mississippi law prohibiting non-emergency abortions past the 15th week of pregnancy. “We’re asking the Supreme Court to follow the latest medical and scientific information and protect the lives of the unborn,” Attorney General Wilson said. “When the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, a baby couldn’t live outside the womb until 28 weeks’ gestation. Now, babies born at only 21 weeks have…

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Forest Acres Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 20, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Connor Evans Vaules, 21, of Forest Acres, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Forest Acres Police Department, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Vaules possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.     Vaules…

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Fairfield County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark Gregory Koch, 55, of Winnsboro, S.C., on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Koch. Investigators state Koch…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Derek Hugh McConnell, 41, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to McConnell. Investigators state McConnell possessed multiple files of child…

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AG Wilson one of 15 state AGs urging federal court to defend free speech and due process for students

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  –  July 16, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a 15-state legal brief filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, urging the court to allow the Department of Education to reaffirm Title IX’s commitment to protecting students from actual harassment while respecting free speech and fair process. The Department of Education’s “Final Rule” bolsters the anti-discrimination purposes of Title IX without infringing free speech or due process rights. “We think that some colleges and the U.S. Department of Education have been so intent on getting rid of anything offensive from…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chase Allen Perry, 22, of Taylors, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Perry. Investigators state Perry distributed and possessed files of child…

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Union County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Colton Blake Zelano, 32, of Union, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Marshals Service and Union County Sheriff’s Office, all also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy William Henson, 40, of Kershaw, S.C., on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as Homeland Security Investigations (N.C.) and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, both members of the N.C. ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline…

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Union County Sheriff Taylor Indicted by Union County Grand Jury; Charged with Misconduct in Office and Disseminating Obscenity

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the Union Grand Jury returned indictments against Union County Sheriff David Taylor. He was charged with one count of Misconduct in Office and one count of Disseminating Obscene Material. The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor, punishable by up to ten years in prison. The obscenity violation is a statutory felony according to SC Code Section 16-15-305 punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine no less than $10,000, or both. The indictment alleges Taylor sent messages to a citizen of Union…

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Lexington County Men Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 7, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of two Lexington county residents in unrelated cases.  Anthony Michael Crispino, III, 26, of Columbia, S.C., and Michael Wayne Davis, 61, of Leesville, S.C., were arrested on seven total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with both investigations.  Investigators with the U.S. Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations…

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Attorney General Wilson urges U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reevaluate changes to claims processing policy

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to rescind a newly-implemented policy that will result in further delays and confusion in the claims process. In a letter submitted to Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence, the coalition is asking the department to postpone and reevaluate changes made to its longstanding claims review policy while the nation faces a public health pandemic. In April, the…

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Laurens County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Roberto J. Martin Rodriguez, 25, of Gray Court, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Rodriguez possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.  …

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Attorney General Wilson Urges Senate to Pass Law to Fight Shell Companies

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today signed on to a bipartisan letter signed by 42 attorneys generals urging the U.S. Senate to pass S. 2563, the Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act. The letter was sent to Sen. Mike Crapo, Chairman, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member, of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The ILLICIT CASH Act updates the federal framework for fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, which has not been comprehensively reassessed since its inception…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 26, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Oswaldo Ramon Molina-Labrador, 51, of Greenville, S.C., on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Molina-Labrador. Investigators state Molina-Labrador distributed multiple files of child sexual…

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Columbia Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 26, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ryan Mccrae Dodds, 20, of Columbia, S.C., on 12 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.    Investigators state Dodds possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.     Dodds was arrested on June 25, 2020. He is charged with 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.  …

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 26 ,2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joseph Edwin Gibson, 37, of Lexington, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Gibson possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.     Gibson was arrested on June 24, 2020. He is charged with six counts of sexual exploitation of…

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Summerville Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 26, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kevin John Ollerdisse, 34, of Summerville, SC, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Summerville Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Ollerdisse. Investigators state Ollerdisse possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse…

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Attorney General releases opinion on constitutionality of Heritage Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released his office’s opinion on the constitutionality of the Heritage Act. You can read the opinion HERE.  

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Attorney General Wilson’s statement on local mask ordinances

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 24, 2020 – My office has recently received a number of calls regarding the city ordinances passed by Greenville and Columbia that concern the wearing of masks within those cities’ jurisdictions and under certain conditions. I want to provide a general answer to this issue. Before I provide the answer I want to make it perfectly clear that our office is not endorsing, defending or even attacking these ordinances. The only question before my office is whether a city can lawfully pass this type of ordinance? The short answer to that question is – yes, a city…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Layfe Dubb Farmer, 35, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Farmer. Investigators state Farmer possessed multiple files of child…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Craig Halman, 46, of Taylors, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Halman. Investigators state Halman distributed multiple files of child sexual…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy Daeshawn Williams, 25, of Conway, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which led them to Williams.  Investigators state Williams solicited sex from a minor,…

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Greenville County Men Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Andres Ortiz-Gomez, 39, and Michael Gabriel Dockins, 27, both of Greenville, SC, on 15 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them (in separate cases) to…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Ross Barnes, 34, of York, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the SC Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Barnes. Investigators state Barnes distributed and possessed files of child…

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Chesterfield County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timmy Earl McClain, 39, of Pageland, SC, on nine charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, all also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Pageland Police Department, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing…

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South Carolina Office of the Attorney General recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Warns of risks of investment fraud among seniors due to increased isolation during COVID-19 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) — June 19, 2020 – In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) earlier this week, the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General reminds financial professionals and the public throughout South Carolina that heightened isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic have created a perfect storm for senior financial exploitation. “Social isolation has long been one of the leading factors contributing to the financial exploitation of older investors, and the unprecedented quarantines to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus have…

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Aiken Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy James Granger, 20, of  Aiken, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken Department of Public Safety made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Branchville Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Theodore Shriner, 71, of  Branchville, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Shriner distributed child sexual abuse material.     Shriner was arrested on June 12`, 2020. He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of…

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S.C. Attorney General’s Office requests federal review of McCree case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 13, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that he has requested that the U.S. Attorney’s Office review the findings in the shooting death of Ariane McCree last November in the parking lot of Walmart in Chester. “Our office studied the video evidence and reviewed witnesses’ statements that were in the report provided to us by SLED and concluded that Mr. McCree was pointing a gun at police, which put their lives and innocent bystanders in danger. This led our office to the conclusion that the shooting was justified, but because of continued…

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Williamston Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Wayne Quick, 35, of Williamston, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations and Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Williamston Police Department, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators state Quick distributed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.     Quick…

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ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON JOINS COALITION FILING 3RD COMPLAINT IN ONGOING ANTITRUST PRICE-FIXING INVESTIGATION INTO GENERIC DRUG INDUSTRY

Complaint Names 26 Corporate Defendants, 10 Individual Defendants in Conspiracy to Fix Prices and Allocate Markets for at least 80 Generic Topical Dermatological Drugs Ongoing Investigation Built on Evidence from Multiple Cooperating Witnesses, Over 20 Million Documents, Phone Record Database Containing Millions of Call Detail Records for Over 600 Sales and Pricing Individuals (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a coalition of 51 states and territories led by Connecticut filing the third lawsuit stemming from the ongoing antitrust investigation into a widespread conspiracy by generic drug manufacturers to artificially inflate and manipulate…

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Laurens County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 5, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Douglas Holmes, 37, of Waterloo, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service and Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, all also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Works to Expose Illegal Robocallers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 4, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with the State Attorneys General Robocall Working Group, today encouraged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to facilitate continued collaboration among state attorneys general and telecom companies to coordinate tracing back illegal robocalls to their source. “A robocall is an intrusion into our personal lives – unwanted, uninvited, and unnecessary, and we know how annoying they are because we get them too. It will take states working together with all of the telecom companies for us to be able to do something about them,” Attorney General Wilson…

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Attorney General Wilson meets with federal, state, and local law enforcement to coordinate response to violence during protests

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 2, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson this morning held the first meeting with federal, state, and local law enforcement to coordinate the state’s efforts to address violence during recent protests around the state and prevent further violence. They met by conference call. “Protesters who attacked others or who damaged property or looted may have been arrested and charged for those crimes but we want to look into whether they’re part of any larger, organized groups that are instigating violence,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Arresting the individuals is like mowing weeds. They’re gone temporarily,…

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SC Attorney General’s Office working with federal, state, and local partners to protect law-abiding protesters, police, and property

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that he is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, state and local law enforcement agencies, and local solicitors, to coordinate the response to the current threats to our community. “Our priorities are to protect people’s lives and property, and we also want to protect the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protesters who want their voices heard,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “For those people who are trying to hijack these protests to instigate violence and destruction, we’ll do everything in our power to…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Oded Babila, 24, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Coastal Carolina Police Department assisted with the investigation. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Babila. Investigators state…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Micah Blu Rodgers, 35, of  Lancaster, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Rodgers. Investigators state Rodgers distributed child…

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Camden Man Arrested on Child Sexual Abuse Material* Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Benjamin Joseph White, 56, of Camden, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the United States Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also  members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Camden Police Department, assisted with the arrest. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Pickens County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Billy Edgar Reynolds, 41, of Easley, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Reynolds. Investigators state Reynolds possessed multiple files of child…

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York County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor and Related Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Austin Tyler Tackett, 20, of Rock Hill, SC, on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Tackett solicited a minor for sex and distributed a sexually graphic image to a minor.   Tackett was arrested on May 26, 2020. He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to ten years…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 27, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chad Michael Bose, 37, of Chapin, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Bose. Investigators state Bose distributed child pornography.     Bose…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 26, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Christopher McCoy, 29, of Lancaster, SC, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to McCoy. Investigators state McCoy distributed…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Coalition of Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — May 21, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general urging Congress to pass S.3607, the Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act. The Act would permit the families of first responders, who die or are permanently and totally disabled as a result of COVID-19, to receive the same federal benefits extended to first responders, or their survivors, otherwise killed or injured in the line of duty. Sadly, several South Carolina law enforcement officers have already succumbed to the novel coronavirus. Current federal law would only allow survivors access to…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 20, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Taylor Hawkins, 25, of Gaston, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hawkins. Investigators state Hawkins encouraged a minor victim to produce…

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Myrtle Beach Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 20, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Phillip Joseph Byrne, 61, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Byrne. Investigators state Byrne distributed multiple files of child pornography….

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Dale Alan Smith, 62, of York, SC, on 12 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Smith. Investigators state Smith distributed and possessed files of child…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces over $550 million settlement with nation’s largest subprime auto financing company

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with a coalition of 34 attorneys general led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, today announced a settlement with Santander Consumer USA Inc. (Santander) that includes approximately $550 million in relief for consumers with even more relief in additional deficiency waivers expected. The settlement resolves allegations that Santander violated consumer protection laws by exposing subprime consumers to unnecessarily high levels of risk and knowingly placing these consumers into auto loans with a high probability of default. “Santander’s misleading lending practices exposed South Carolina borrowers to unnecessary…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson one of 15 AGs urging federal judge to follow Constitution

(COLUMBIA, S.C) – May 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined 14 other state attorneys general in filing a brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the Michael Flynn case. The U.S. Department of Justice has decided to dismiss charges against General Flynn yet the Court has requested “friend of the court” briefs “to present arguments in opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss.” Attorney General Wilson said, “The important point in this case is not General Flynn specifically but it’s about upholding the Constitutional separation of powers. The legislative branch…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Holt Preston, 32, of Taylors, SC, on five charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. ICAC investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.     Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Preston. Investigators state Preston engaged in criminal sexual conduct…

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Dillon County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Dean Tedder,  36, of Dillon, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Dillon Police Department assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Tedder possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Tedder was arrested on May 13, 2020. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to…

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State Grand Jury issues Public Corruption Indictment against former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Fuleihan

(COLUMBIA, SC) – May 14, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the South Carolina State Grand Jury today issued an indictment against former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Edward Fuleihan. Fuleihan, 48, had served as a Florence County Sheriff’s Deputy since 1995, and had been arrested on April 2, 2020 by SLED and HSI agents at the Florence County Sheriff’s Office on a State Grand Jury arrest warrant. Florence County Interim Sheriff William Barnes had dismissed Fuleihan from his position prior to his arrest. The investigation into Fuleihan began with a request from the Florence County…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Leads Coalition Calling for a Federal-State Partnership to Hold China Responsible for the COVID-19 Pandemic

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  May 13, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today helped lead a coalition of 14 states calling for a federal-state partnership to develop a comprehensive plan to hold the Communist Party of China responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition of state attorneys general sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting a partnership to begin exploring legal avenues to hold China responsible for the public health and economic damage caused by its withholding of information and international dissemination of misinformation as COVID-19 began to spread in China and beyond. “Last Friday, I led…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – May 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Edward Lincoln, 45, of  Columbia, SC, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Lincoln  possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Lincoln was arrested on May 6, 2020. He is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The case…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins 20 Other State Attorneys General in Calling for COVID-19 Liability Protections

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 12, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a 21-state coalition in urging Congress to enact specific liability protections that help mitigate the threat of frivolous COVID-related litigation for much-needed goods and services while still ensuring victims are able to seek legal redress and compensation where appropriate. In the wake of this unprecedented crisis, the extension of appropriate post-pandemic liability protections is needed at both the state and federal levels for businesses, manufacturers of personal protective equipment, first responders, healthcare workers, healthcare facilities and members of law enforcement, among others. “Our economy will…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson leads 17-state letter to Congress asking for investigation into China’s role in pandemic

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 11, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is leading 17 states in calling on Congress to investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Wilson sent a letter Friday to the leadership of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other House and Senate leaders asking for a Congressional investigation. “Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment,” Attorney General…

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Beaufort County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Perry Oswald Scoon-Dillard, 36, of Beaufort, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Scoon-Dillard. Investigators state Scoon-Dillard possessed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Florence County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor and Related Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joseph Bunyan Skvarek, Jr., 40, of  Coward, SC, on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Skvarek solicited a minor for sex and distributed a sexually graphic image to a minor.   Skvarek was arrested on May 7, 2020. He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to ten years…

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AG Alan Wilson Joins Effort to Expand Illegal Robocall Response

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 4, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson recently joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general in calling on USTelecom – the leading organization representing telecommunications providers – and its Industry Traceback Group (ITG) to continue its collaboration with state attorneys general by bolstering technological capabilities to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers. In a letter sent TODAY to USTelecom, cosponsored by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Ohio Attorney General David Yost, the coalition is urging the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited to law enforcement needs. “I get robocalls…

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Dillon County Man Arrested on Multiple Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 1, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Quintel McLaughlin, 38, of Hamer, SC, on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with SLED and the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Dillon Police Department, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state McLaughlin solicited sex from a minor, kidnapped a minor, engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a…

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Attorney General’s Office Reminds SC to Call Before You Dig

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 29, 2020 – April is National Safe Digging month and, while the month is almost over, this is a reminder that’s important for the entire year. Attorney General Alan Wilson reminds everyone to call or login to SC811.com before you dig. It’s the law, and it’s not just for contractors and utilities. No job is too small or too big. 811 is the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to help protect do-it-yourselfers, landscapers, and contractors from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on projects that involve digging. Many people are working on…

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Colleton County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Lazarus Sharieff Cockrum, 31, of Walterboro, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Cockrum. Investigators state Cockrum distributed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces state receives $75.2 million in tobacco settlement funds

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the state secured $75,250,164.97 in its share of the annual tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) Payment. In 1998, the Attorney General’s Office joined 45 other States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in settling claims with the then-four major U.S. cigarette manufacturers. The MSA is the largest financial recovery in legal history. Since the MSA was signed in November 1998, about 50 other tobacco companies have signed onto the MSA and are also bound by its terms. The settlement imposes major restrictions…

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AG Alan Wilson part of multistate effort to preserve ban on federally funded fetal tissue research

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney Alan Wilson joined a letter sent this week to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other top federal officials supporting the administration’s current ban on federal funding for fetal tissue research. The letter is signed by the attorneys general of 18 states in addition to South Carolina. Last month, a California-led coalition of 15 other attorneys general called upon President Trump to end the ban in order to facilitate studies they claimed could lead to new methods of fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Advocates for fresh fetal tissue…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Rivera, 62, of Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation. Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Rivera. Investigators state Rivera possessed multiple files of child pornography. Rivera…

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Attorney General Wilson warns of potential financial exploitation of vulnerable adults’ stimulus checks

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 16, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is warning senior citizens, other vulnerable adults and their families that federal stimulus checks could lead to financial exploitation of vulnerable citizens. “Many vulnerable adults have family members or someone else handling their money for them, and this additional stimulus money will be a temptation for some,“ Attorney General Wilson said. The Omnibus Adult Protection Act protects vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. Under that Act, any resident of a nursing home, assisted living facility or residential facility operated by the S.C. Department of Mental Health…

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Attorney General Wilson sending possible price gouging cases to local solicitors for investigation

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has assigned potential price gouging cases to local solicitors around the state so their offices can review them and assign them to local law enforcement to investigate as needed and then possibly prosecute. “We’ve received more than 650 complaints since the Governor declared a state of emergency on March 13th and we’ve been going through those complaints to find ones that could meet our state law’s definition of price gouging,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We want to get moving on these as soon as possible to get…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson fights for South Carolinians’ ability to hold companies accountable for defective products

Joins bipartisan coalition of 40 attorneys general in asking Supreme Court not to limit plaintiffs’ right to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products in their home-state courts (COLUMBIA S.C.) — April 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 39 states and the District of Columbia, led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in defending the rights of South Carolinians and all Americans to hold companies accountable for defective products in their home-state courts. In an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court,…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 3, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Richard Hoffman, 24, of Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hoffman. Investigators state Hoffman  possessed multiple files of child…

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Arrest Warrant Served against former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Fuleihan for Ethics Act Bribery Offense

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 2, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that former Florence County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Edward Fuleihan has been arrested for an Ethics Act bribery charge. Fuleihan, 48, had served as a Florence County Sheriff’s Deputy since 1995, and was arrested by SLED and HSI agents at the Florence County Sheriff’s Office. Florence County Interim Sheriff William Barnes dismissed Fuleihan from his position prior to his arrest for this offense. The investigation into Fuleihan began with a request from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office after it received information about Fuleihan’s alleged involvement in…

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COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes Anticipated South Carolina Office of the Attorney General Outlines What to Expect and Offers Guidance on How to Protect Yourself

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 30, 2020 – Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Securities Division of the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General is alerting investors to be on guard against an anticipated surge of fraudulent investment schemes. “In these extraordinary times the health and welfare of all must be our foremost concern, and that includes our financial health. Our primary focus remains on the protection of retail investors,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. The Securities Division warns investors that the fraudulent schemes launched amid COVID-19 outbreak will not be elegant. “Scammers will begin perpetrating schemes that require little or no…

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Updated opinion with additional citations concerning the extraordinary powers of the Governor during a state of emergency. This updated opinion is based upon a new declaration of emergency by the Governor, dated March 28, 2020.

Updated opinion with additional citations concerning the extraordinary powers of the Governor during a state of emergency. This updated opinion is based upon a new declaration of emergency by the Governor, dated March 28, 2020. Read full opinion

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 26, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Craig Douglas Keeling, (age 56), of Charleston, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Keeling. Investigators state Keeling distributed multiple files of child…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 27, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Lon Momberger, Jr., age 21, of North Charleston, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Summerville Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators state Momberger solicited sex and sexually explicit images from a minor.   Momberger was arrested on March 20, 2020. He…

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Attorney General’s Office issues guidance to law enforcement on Governor’s Executive Order

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 24, 2020 – Today, the Attorney General’s Office sent a letter providing guidance to the State Law Enforcement Division, local law enforcement, and the public on the enforcement of Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order for law enforcement to disperse groups of three or more people. You can read the letter here.

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Officers cleared in Chester Walmart shooting last November

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  March 20, 2020 – The Attorney General’s Office has reviewed the officer-involved shooting that occurred at Walmart at 1691 J.A. Cochran Bypass in Chester on November 23, 2019. The shooting resulted in the death of 28-year-old Ariane McCree. The Attorney General’s Office commends the State Law Enforcement Division for its thorough investigation into the events that unfolded. A Walmart cashier told investigators he scanned an item for Mr. McCree the morning of November 23rd. McCree took the item, said, “put it on my tab,” and walked out of the store without paying for it. McCree returned to…

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Inmate Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher David Jones, age 32, an inmate of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Investigators with the S.C. Department of Corrections Police Services made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Jones. Investigators state Jones possessed files of child pornography.  …

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  March 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joel C. Herrick, age 19, of Conway, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Herrick. Investigators state Herrick distributed and possessed files of…

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Greenville Jury Convicts David M. Barajas of Trafficking Methamphetamine in State Grand Jury Narcotics Investigation Known as “Polar Express”

(COLUMBIA, SC) – March 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that a Greenville jury yesterday issued a guilty verdict against David M. Barajas for trafficking 400 grams or more of methamphetamine. The trial lasted six days after which the Honorable Perry Gravely sentenced Barajas to 30 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.   Barajas, 42, who was known by the nicknames “Chavo” and “Pelon”, was convicted of running a hub in Atlanta through which kilograms of methamphetamine were trafficked from Mexico through Texas into Atlanta and then throughout the state of South Carolina. Evidence…

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Two Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Demetrius David John, age 26, of Anderson, and Matthew Jonathon Tant, age 19, of North Augusta, SC, on 22 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, S.C. Department of Public Safety, and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the John investigation and arrest. Investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office,…

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South Carolina’s price gouging law now in effect

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2020 – President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency Friday and Gov. Henry McMaster’s declaration of a state of emergency mean that South Carolina’s law against price gouging is now in effect. Either declaration would have put the state’s law in effect. State law (SC §39-5-145) says that it is unlawful to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.” The law remains in effect until the declaration expires or is terminated. It’s important to keep in mind that normal changes in the prices of goods and…

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SC AG Alan Wilson and 14 other state Attorneys General defend student groups’ freedom to choose leaders that share their beliefs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined attorneys general from 14 other states in filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The brief supports a district court decision ruling that University of Iowa officials violated the First Amendment rights of student groups on campus. Those university officials engaged in unlawful discrimination when they allowed some but not all student groups to require their leaders to share the group’s views. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship was one of the organizations that school officials treated differently. They forbid InterVarsity from…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 6, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Paul Augustine Ledwich, Jr., age 53, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on three total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Ledwich. Investigators state Ledwich distributed multiple…

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Two Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 6, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Christian Pendergast, age 47, of Cameron, and Xavier John Fulwood, age 27, of Manning, SC, on 25 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the Pendergast investigation and arrest. Investigators with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members…

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Summerville Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 6, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Steven Michael Kuhn, age 48, of Summerville, SC, on 20 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Summerville Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Kuhn. Investigators state Kuhn distributed…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Reminds Investors to Beware of Con Artists Looking to Profit from Fear and Uncertainty

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) —  March 3, 2020 – In light of the ongoing developments related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and its impact on financial markets, the Attorney General’s Office is reminding investors in South Carolina to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty. “We know con artists are opportunistic and use current events to cloak their schemes with an air of immediacy and legitimacy. Never make an investment decision without understanding what you are investing in, who you are doing business with, where your money is going, how it will be used, and how you…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Bipartisan Coalition in Defending States’ Rights to Regulate the Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 2, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a bipartisan coalition of 46 attorneys general led by California Attorney General Becerra, in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting states’ rights to regulate and address the rising cost of prescription drugs. In Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the attorneys general argue that in order to protect the well-being of consumers, states must regulate pharmacy benefit managers, also known as PBMs. PBMs act as middlemen between pharmacies, drug manufacturers, health insurance plans, and consumers. Their position gives them some power to manipulate the market as they develop…

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Cheraw Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 28, 2029 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Austin Crow, age 43, of Cheraw, SC, on 18 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation. Investigators state Crow distributed and possessed files of child pornography. Crow was arrested on February 27, 2020. He is charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a…

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AG Wilson Applauds $1.6 Billion Global Settlement with Opioid Manufacturer

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Feb. 26, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced a global settlement framework agreement between state attorneys general, local subdivisions, and Mallinckrodt (MNK), its subsidiaries, and certain other affiliates. MNK is currently the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the United States. In the agreement, MNK agrees to pay $1.6 billion in cash to a trust that will cover the costs of opioid addiction treatment and related efforts, with the potential for increased payment to the trust. MNK also agrees that its future generics opioid business will be subject to stringent injunctive relief that, among other things, will…

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Greenville County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 25, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Paul Thomas Hood, age 60, and Cemp Barmore Garrison, Jr., age 66, both of Greenville, SC, on 20 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the Hood investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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South Carolina announces bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 25, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced South Carolina has joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL Labs. The 39-state multistate coalition is investigating JUUL’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device. “Our goal is always to uphold the rule of law and protect our citizens. We’re looking into whether JUUL is following the law and not misleading people with false or misleading claims, including trying to convince teenagers that vaping is safe,” Attorney General…

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Greenville County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 21, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jacob Marc Eveler, age 24, of Taylors, SC, and Joseph Samuel Langford, age 52, of Greenville, SC, on 18 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the Eveler investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Coalition Supporting Bipartisan Legislation Limiting Corporate Bankruptcy Filings to District Housing Principal Place of Business

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 20, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 state and territory attorneys general in supporting H.R. 4421, the Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that will prevent a corporation from filing for bankruptcy in a District that it believes would be more favorable on issues to the debtor’s advantage—a practice known as “forum shopping”—when the corporation’s principal place of business or assets are located in a different district, which imposes a burden on states and other creditors who may have to travel and incur significant expenses…

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Greenwood County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Corey Russell Lockaby, age 29, of Greenwood, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Lockaby. Investigators state Lockaby…

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Federal Judge allows South Carolina’s lawsuit to block offshore drilling to move forward

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 18, 2020 – A federal judge has ruled that South Carolina’s lawsuit to block offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina can move forward. United States District Judge Richard Gergel issued the written opinion Tuesday, February 18th. The federal government had asked that South Carolina’s lawsuit be dismissed. “I would like to thank Judge Gergel for allowing South Carolina’s claims to go forward,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said. “This case is vital to South Carolina and its beautiful coastline and natural resources.” Then-President Obama issued an executive order withdrawing Outer Continental Shelf Lands belonging to…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictments Alleging Public Corruption by suspended Colleton County Sheriff Robert Strickland, Jr.

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Feb. 18, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the unsealing of a thirteen count indictment and a two count indictment by South Carolina State Grand Jury regarding allegations of public corruption in the office of suspended Colleton County Sheriff Robert A. Strickland, Jr. Sheriff Strickland, 40, had previously been suspended from office by Order of Governor McMaster, following Strickland’s indictment on November 21, 2019 by the Colleton County Grand Jury for Domestic Violence 2nd Degree. On February 13, 2020, the State Grand Jury issued indictments of Sheriff Strickland for the following offenses: 1….

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 13, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joel Daniel Seaman, age 29, of Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest.     Investigators state Seaman possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Seaman was arrested on February 10, 2020. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.  …

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Georgetown man sentenced to nine years for $550,000 fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 11, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Georgetown man was sentenced on Monday in Greenville County for committing securities fraud that netted over $550,000. According to court records, Kevin Vernon Robinson, 47, of Golf Drive in Georgetown, South Carolina took over $550,000 from at least 15 investors by lying and creating false documents that indicated he had developed safety bracelets which were to store medical and location information that could be easily accessed should a child or senior wearing a bracelet become ill or missing. Attorney General Wilson, who also serves as the…

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Inmate Arrested on Dissemination of Obscene Material to a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 5, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jonathan Franklin Gillikin, age 36, a current resident of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, on one charge connected to the dissemination of obscene material to a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the case.    Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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Landrum Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 3, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Benjamin Wayne Johnson, age 58, of Landrum, S.C., on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Landrum Police Department assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Johnson solicited and received multiple files of child pornography.     Johnson was arrested on January 27, 2020….

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Summerville Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor and Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Walter Bernheisel, age 57, of Summerville, SC, on 13 charges connected to the solicitation and sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.     Investigators state Bernheisel engaged in sexually explicit communication with and traveled to meet someone he believed to be a minor, possessed child pornography, and distributed nude images to someone he believed to be a minor.   Bernherisel was arrested on January 24, 2020. He is charged…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Fred Rufus Kerr, Jr., age 54, of Lexington, SC, on 15 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Kerr. Investigators state Kerr distributed and possessed…

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SC Attorney General Wilson sues City of Columbia over unconstitutional city gun laws

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 29, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a lawsuit today with the state Supreme Court asking it to strike down various ordinances adopted by the City of Columbia relating to guns. “We have consistently advised for almost three decades, since 1991, that state law preempts local regulation of firearms. These ordinances clearly violate the state law that prohibits local governments from passing any gun laws or ordinances that regulate the transfer, ownership, or possession of firearms,” Attorney General Wilson said. Attorney General Wilson filed the suit asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to…

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Columbia Man Admits $150,000 Securities Fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 24, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that a Columbia man, Stan Ray Hudgins, has pleaded guilty to wrongfully taking $150,000 from an elderly victim. Hudgins met the victim when the victim’s son worked for Hudgins. Hudgins portrayed himself as a successful businessman seeking investment money, both to go to the ongoing business and for investment in new opportunities. Hudgins promised the victim a share of profits from all businesses in which the victim’s money was placed.  However, Hudgins did not live up to his promises. In one case, Hudgins didn’t even buy…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Reid Polkowsky, 42, of Irmo, SC, on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Polkowsky. Investigators state Polkowsky distributed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Unprecedented Action: SC AG Alan Wilson leads 21 Republican Attorneys General in Filing Letter with the Senate Slamming the Democrats’ Impeachment Articles as Legally Flawed and Damaging to the Constitution

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 22, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is leading an unprecedented action in which 21 Republican attorneys general filed the first-ever “friend of the Senate” letter outlining the legal flaws of the perilous partisan move by the Democrats to use the impeachment of President Trump as a political weapon to destroy a cornerstone of the Constitution: the separation of powers. Attorney General Wilson, who was instrumental in the creation and coordination of the letter, stated: “The two Articles of Impeachment sent over from the House are fundamentally flawed, politically motivated, and fail to identify any high…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Gregory Terrell Williams, 27, of Rock Hill, SC, on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the (NC) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), members of the NC ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Williams. Investigators state Williams distributed and possessed…

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Horry County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Tristan Thomas Logan Macgyver Alexander Kirk-Frost, 30, of Murrells Inlet, SC, and Kevin S. Blank, 58, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 26 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as the Coastal Carolina Police Department assisted with the investigations.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 17, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Morris Wayne Eugene Ballew, 47, of Anderson, SC, on 15 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which…

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Swansea Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 15, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kevin Corbin Sheppard, 27, of Swansea, SC, on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Lexington County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.    Investigators state Sheppard solicited someone he believed to be a minor for sex and distributed a sexually graphic image to…

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SC Human Trafficking annual report shows huge increase in number of victims

(COLUMBIA, SC) — Jan. 10, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the release of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force’s 2019 Annual Report today at the Statehouse. The report details the efforts of the State Task Force to protect victims, prosecute traffickers, and prevent human trafficking from happening in South Carolina. Attorney General Wilson welcomed representatives from state agencies, state and federal law enforcement, regional task forces, nonprofits, and communities across South Carolina to share in the report’s release. Attorney General Wilson reported a 360% increase in the total number of trafficking victims recorded in South…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictment Alleging Public Corruption by suspended Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood, former Chester County Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse, and former Chester County Lt. Johnny Neal

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Jan. 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the unsealing of a 16-count indictment by the South Carolina State Grand Jury regarding allegations of corruption in the office of suspended Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood. On December 11, 2019, the State Grand Jury issued an indictment of suspended Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood, former Chester County Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse, and former Chester County Lt. Johnny Neal, for the following offenses: (1) George Alexander Underwood (a/k/a “Big A”) a. 2019-GS-47-43 (Chester County): i. Count 1: Criminal Conspiracy, § 16-17-410: 0-5 years and/or $0-$5,000….

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 9, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joshua Linwood Armentrout, age 37, of North Augusta, SC, on 14 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. ICAC investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and US Secret Service, all also part of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.     Investigators state Armentrout engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor and produced, distributed and possessed multiple files…

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AG Alan Wilson announces former Florence Co. Sheriff Kenney Boone pleads guilty to embezzlement, misconduct in office

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that former Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone pleaded guilty today to one count of Embezzlement under $5,000 and one count of Common law Misconduct in Office in front of the Honorable William McKinnon in Sumter County. Attorney Butch Bowers represented Mr. Boone. “While this case is unfortunate, it underscores that no one is above the law, even our law enforcement leaders,” Attorney General Wilson said. Boone was indicted April 24, 2019 by the State Grand Jury. The indictment alleged that Boone used both county and federal…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography C

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joshua Ryan Hart, age 25, of Taylors, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. ICAC investigators with the Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police Department, part of the Indiana ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Hart distributed child pornography.     Hart was arrested on January 6, 2020. He is charged with ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor,…

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Charleston County man sentenced to 20 years for sexual exploitation of a minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Charleston County man has been sentenced to 20 years for the sexual exploitation of a minor. On Monday, January 6th, Robert Joseph Berardi pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree, before the Honorable Jennifer B. McCoy in Charleston County. Judge McCoy sentenced Berardi to a negotiated 20 years in state prison. “This is a horrendous case of abuse so we’re glad that this predator will be locked up for two decades,” Attorney General Wilson said. “He stole this…

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Summerville Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 31, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Gene Clark Davis, 53, of Summerville, SC, on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Summerville Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.    Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Davis. Investigators state Davis solicited a minor for sex and distributed…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 23, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Dennis Golden, age 61, of Simpsonville, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Golden distributed child pornography.     Golden was arrested on December 20, 2019. He is charged with ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 20, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bennett Gramm Velasquez, age 19, of Mount Pleasant, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Velasquez. Investigators state Velasquez possessed multiple files…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark Erwin Miller, age 61, of Lancaster, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Miller. Investigators state Miller distributed child pornography.    …

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Charles Scott Rogers, age 47, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety, U.S. Secret Service, and 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as Coastal Carolina University Police Department, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state…

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Ladson Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct and Solicitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Henry Schuessler, age 28, of Ladson, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Schuessler. Investigators state Schuessler engaged in sexually explicit communication…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bobby Joe Harris, age 49, of Anderson, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Harris distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Harris was arrested on December 12,…

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jody Glenn Johnson, age 49, of Jackson, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators state Johnson possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Johnson was arrested on December 10, 2019. He is charged…

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Darlington County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Charges with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Joseph James Williamson, age 47, of Darlington, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest   Investigators state Williamson solicited sex from a minor and engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor.   Williamson was arrested on December 10, 2019. He is charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree (§16-3-655(b)); and one count of criminal…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chavis Cromartie, age 20, of Columbia, SC, on 15 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.     Investigators received muliple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Cromartie. Investigators state Cromartie distributed multiple files of child…

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Berkeley County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Nicholas Moultrie, age 20, of Huger, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Moultrie distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Moultrie was arrested on December 9, 2019. He is charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The case…

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AG Alan Wilson Joins Bipartisan Coalition in Calling for Fentanyl to Remain a Schedule I Drug

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson was joined Wednesday in a bipartisan coalition of all 56 attorneys general in calling for Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. “Fentanyl is a lethal drug even in tiny amounts and carfentanil can be over 100 times more potent than fentanyl,” said Attorney General Wilson. “A person might just as well take rat poison. Fentanyl is a ticket to death.” In the letter, the…

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Lamont Kirton, III, 42, of Columbia, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Kirton distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Kirton was arrested on December 5, 2019. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.   The…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Dec. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Gregory Robert Tibbetts, age 39, of Mount Pleasant, on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest.     Investigators state Tibbetts engaged in sexually explicit communication with and traveled to meet someone he believed to be a minor.   Tibbetts was arrested on November 27, 2019. He is charged with one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor (§16-3-655); and one count of sexual…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Nov. 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Wesley Shane Lewis, 26, of Galivants Ferry, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Lewis. Investigators state Lewis distributed child pornography.    …

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Clarendon County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 27,2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Tommy Rene Lee, age 49, of Manning, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), U.S. Secret Service, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ashley L. Pryor, age 42, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Pryor. Investigators state Pryor distributed child pornography.  …

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark William Moseley, age 61, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on nine charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Moseley. Investigators state Moseley distributed files of…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 21, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Damion Demetrius Frazier, (age 20) of  Conway, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, Horry County Police Department, and Coastal Carolina University Police Department assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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McCormick Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 21, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Willie Alfred Blair (age 65) of McCormick, SC, on five charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the McCormick County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshal’s Service, US Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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Barnwell County man gets 20 years in prison for producing child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 21, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Barnwell County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for producing child pornography, which involved his recording video and taking still photos while he sexually abused a young girl. Joshua Isiah Worthy waived venue from Barnwell County to Lexington County and pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree before the Honorable Frank R. Addy. “All cases of child sexual abuse and child pornography are repulsive,” Attorney General Wilson said. “But this one is even more so because…

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Suspended Florence County Sheriff Boone Indicted by State Grand Jury; Charged with Misconduct in Office and State Campaign Ethics Violations

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Nov. 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the State Grand Jury returned indictments against suspended Florence County Sheriff William Kenney Boone.  He was charged with one count of Misconduct in Office and three counts of Campaign Ethics Violations. The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor, punishable by up to ten years in prison.  The ethics violations are statutory misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine no less than $5,000 and not more than five hundred percent of the amount of contributions that should have been reported. The…

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SC Attorney General’s Office and SC Restaurant and Lodging Association Partner to Combat Human Trafficking

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 18, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force and the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association have partnered in the fight against human trafficking in our state. Together, they will focus on training members of the hospitality industry, ensuring businesses have safe response protocols, and continuing to bring awareness about the crime. The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General leads the State Task Force that utilizes a multi-sector and regional approach to bringing awareness of human trafficking while preventing and prosecuting cases. The Task Force is comprised…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Corey Abram Weston, age 39, of Goose Creek, SC, on seven charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Weston. Investigators state Weston possessed multiple files…

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Greenville County man gets 8 years in prison for soliciting minor, child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Greenville County man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for soliciting a minor and for creating and possessing child pornography. Bunky Balcombe, represented by Randy Chambers and Rachel Kepley, pleaded guilty on November 12, 2019, to one count of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor; one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree; and one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree, in front of Judge Letitia Verdin in Greenville County. “Child pornography is not only a menace to…

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South Carolina Attorney General one of 44 State Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 13, 2019 —South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, along with a bipartisan coalition of 43 other state and territory attorneys general, is urging Congress to further support Veteran Treatment Courts by passing the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. Veteran Treatment Courts are diversionary court processes, similar to drug and mental health courts, used for minor, non-violent offenses. These courts pair veterans with mentors to address substance abuse and mental health issues and assist veterans with obtaining United States Veterans Administration benefits that can help them with treatment and employment. There are currently over 450…

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State Grand Jury indicts 54 defendants in “Prison Empire” case, alleging drug trafficking through contraband cell phones in prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Nov. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued a round of indictments in the drug trafficking case known as “Prison Empire.” The investigation alleges much of the drug trafficking was run and facilitated by current and former inmates though the use of contraband cell phones in South Carolina prisons, along with their confederates on the outside. Most of the drugs allegedly being trafficking in the case were methamphetamine, but there are also cocaine and marijuana charges in the case as well. Additionally, there are a…

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Multiple arrests made for Medicaid fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Nov. 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that nine people have been arrested after an 18-month investigation in Richland County for allegations they defrauded the South Carolina Medicaid Program.   New Outlook Second Chance, a Medicaid Provider, provided behavioral health services to both children and adults in Columbia and Sumter. Owners Bethena Jackson (55) and Pearl Griffin (58), as well as former employees Ruth Henry (59), Kimberlee Morris (53), Shaneka Smith (28), Brittany Smith (30), Onyara Memminger (39), Charrise Robertson-West (39), and Jewel Coleman (51) were all arrested as a result of the…

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Perez, age 25, of Charleston, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Charleston Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…

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Georgia Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Samuel Edward Swim, Jr., age 55, of Dalton, GA, on 11 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation leading to this arrest. Investigators with the Whitfield County (GA) Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations assisted with this arrest in Dalton, GA. All three agencies work with the Georgia ICAC Task Force.   Investigators state Swim solicited a person he believed to…

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Lexington man sentenced for drug possession, domestic violence, and hit and run

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 6, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lexington man has been sentenced to three years in prison on several charges, including Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Hit and Run, and two charges of domestic violence. Matthew Sanders Johns, 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Lexington County and was sentenced by Judge DeAndrea Benjamin. Attorney General Wilson said, “This case involved criminal activity running rampant. We are pleased that the defendant will spend time behind bars for domestic violence and the other crimes he committed.” Johns was arrested on October 17, 2018, after…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson files lawsuit over Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam plan

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 5, 2019 – Today, Attorney General Alan Wilson, on behalf of the State of South Carolina, its Department of Health and Environmental Control, and its Savannah River Maritime Commission, took decisive action against the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to ensure compliance with State and Federal law and protect the rule of law. The State filed a lawsuit against the Corps to prevent it from tearing down the historic New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam (NSBLD) and replacing it with another structure that would result in the lowering of the water level by over five…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 4, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kevin Eric Heins, age 19, of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 22 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Heins. Investigators state Heins distributed and possessed…

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Marion County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 1, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kevin Bryant Johnson, age 41, of Mullins, SC, on two charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Bryant solicited a minor for sex and disseminated sexually graphic material to a minor.   Johnson was arrested on October 30, 2019. He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment;…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Matthew Roberts, age 23, of Taylors, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Roberts. Investigators state Roberts possessed child pornography.    …

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Marion County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Andre Laquan Weathers, age 48, of Marion, SC on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.   Investigators state Weathers encouraged a minor to produce and send sexually explicit images.   Weathers was arrested on October 28, 2019. He is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree (§16-15-395), a felony offense punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment…

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Pickens County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Scott James Hunter, age 43, of Liberty, SC, on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Hunter distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Hunter was arrested on October 24, 2019. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of…

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Lexington County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Henry Richard Leeder, Jr., age 55, of Gilbert, SC, and Randy Carroll Rawl, age 54, of Gilbert, SC, on 13 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.     Investigators state both men encouraged a minor to produce and send sexually explicit images, solicited sex from a minor and engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor.   Leeder was arrested on October 23, 2019….

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Pelion Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Justin Darrel Rawl, (age 22) of  Pelion, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, US Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…

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Lexington Co. man gets 7 ½ years in prison for soliciting minors

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 25, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lexington County man has been sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison for soliciting minors. On October 24th, Albert Spivey, represented by David Mauldin, pleaded guilty to two counts of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor in Lexington County before the Honorable Judge William Keesley. “This case is a good example of why we urge parents to teach their children about internet safety,” Attorney General Wilson said. “This predator was going online looking for children to solicit, so our kids need to be aware of that and…

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Lancaster Co. man gets 7 years in prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 25, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lancaster County man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing child pornography. On October 22nd, Charles Poston pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree in Lancaster County before the Honorable Brian Gibbons. “Our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is working around the clock to protect our children from this despicable crime,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We’re constantly making arrests like this one and those trading in child pornography are getting substantial prison sentences.” On March 22,…

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Attorney General Wilson encourages South Carolinians to safely dispose of unwanted medications Saturday

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages all South Carolinians to take part in National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 26th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twice a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proclaims a national day to ask everyone to safely dispose of unused medication. At the last National Take Back Day last April, Americans collected a record-breaking 937,443 pounds of prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s. There are approximately 6,000 locations nationwide where you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines. To…

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Horry County man sent to prison for 4 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 23, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that an Horry County man has been sentenced to four years in prison for child pornography possession. Charles Jared Thomas pleaded guilty on October 21st, 2019, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree in Horry County in front of Judge Deadra Jefferson. “Child pornography is repulsive and will never, ever be tolerated,” Attorney General Wilson said. “The people who share and possess child pornography need to remember that our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force works around the clock to find you, and we…

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Fountain Inn Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 22 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chino Leonardo Arreola (age 28), of Fountain Inn, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Laurens and Greenville County Sheriff’s Offices, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Arreola possessed multiple files of child pornography.    Arreola was arrested on October 18, 2019. He is charged with 10 counts…

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AG Alan Wilson Investigating Facebook for Possible Antitrust Violations

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and attorneys general from across the country today announced an antitrust investigation of Facebook’s business practices. A total of 47 attorneys general are part of the effort.     In regard to the investigation, Attorney General Wilson stated, “Competition built this country and free and competitive markets are important for social media platforms. We are part of a bipartisan group investigating whether Facebook violated any state or federal laws. To ensure that there is meaningful market-based competition, we will work exhaustively to verify that companies follow the law.”…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Bi-Partisan Coalition of Attorneys General Raising Concerns About Illegal Online Alcohol Sales

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a bipartisan coalition of 46 state and territory Attorneys General, led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey, in calling on Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay to take proactive measures against alcohol sales on their platforms which frequently violate state laws. “The Constitution gives each state broad authority to enforce its own laws concerning the sale of alcohol. Whether in person or online, the law is the law in South Carolina and will be enforced,” Attorney General Wilson said. In…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark Avery Pierce (age 47), of Little River, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Pierce. Investigators state Pierce possessed multiple files of child…

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Dorchester man sentenced to 5 years in prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 17, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Dorchester County man has been sentenced to five years in prison for possessing child pornography. Daniel F. Agold pleaded guilty Monday, October 14th, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree before the Honorable Maite Murphy in Dorchester County. In July of 2017, Agold’s ex-girlfriend made a complaint to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office that she had found files containing child pornography while looking through Agold’s Yahoo email account. For further investigation, the matter was referred to Detective Dwayne Peters, who is a…

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Greenwood County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Demarcus Tavon Blocker (age 29) of  Greenwood, SC, on six charges connected to the solicitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshal’s Service, US Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces $116.9 Million Multistate Settlement with Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon, Inc.

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced a multistate settlement along with 40 states and the District of Columbia requiring Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. to pay nearly $116.9 million for their deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices. A multistate investigation found the companies violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of the devices and failing to sufficiently disclose risks associated with their use. South Carolina will receive $4,097,718.60 under the settlement. “Women in South Carolina and across the country were injured by the deceptive marketing of this product when…

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Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Lloyd Hepburn (age 18) of  Charleston, SC, on 11 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Hepburn. Investigators state Hepburn created…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Mark David Swierski, (age 50) of  Lexington, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Swierski. Investigators state Swierski distributed and possessed files…

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 14, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Anthony Feerst, (age 64) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Mount Pleasant Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Feerst. Investigators state Feerst  possessed files of…

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Thanksgiving Day killer sentenced to life in prison

(COLUMBIA, S.C,) – Oct. 11, 2019– Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a man accused of a Thanksgiving Day 2016 murder has been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. On Thursday, a Lexington County jury found Michael Williams guilty of Murder and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. “This was a senseless and cold-blooded murder,” Attorney General Wilson said. “I’m thankful that investigators were able to catch this killer and develop a strong case and my team was able to get this man off the streets for life.” On Thanksgiving Day of 2016 at 2:00 p.m.,…

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Former school bus driver sentenced to 22 years for criminal sexual conduct and exploitation of a 14-year-old girl

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that a former school bus driver has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after impregnating a 14-year-old girl who rode his bus. Kevin Michael Wesley, Jr., pleaded guilty on Monday, October 7th, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree in Charleston County. Judge R. Markley Dennis sentenced Wesley to 12 years in prison on the charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree and 10 years in…

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Moncks Corner Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 10, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jon Daniel St. Jean, (age 43) of  Moncks Corner, SC, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshal’s Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this arrest.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led…

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Varnville man sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a man from Varnville in Hampton County was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, October 7th, for possessing child pornography. John Edward Benson pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree, in front of Judge Carmen Mullen in Allendale County. In May 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that a user uploaded nearly 100 images to a Dropbox cloud storage account. Special Investigator Jason Hughes with the Attorney General’s Office obtained subscriber information…

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AG Alan Wilson applauds President Trump’s signing Autism CARES Act into law

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2019 – President Donald Trump signed the Autism CARES Act into law Monday, which will mean $1.8 billion over five years to fund a whole-of-government approach to help children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson was part of a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general supporting passage of the act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously in July and the Senate passed it unanimously in September. This legislation provides ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (“ASD”) and services to those…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 2, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Oronde Williams (age 42) of Goose Creek, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Goose Creek Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.    Investigators state Williams distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Williams was arrested on September 25, 2019. He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of…

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Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2018 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 1, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 22nd annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia. During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of thirty (30) women and eleven (11) men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year. Victims’ family members, friends, or volunteers carried a life-sized silhouette representing the victim to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim. An additional forty-second…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 21 New Defendants in “Cash Cow,” Alleging Conspiracies to Smuggle Cell Phones, Narcotics, and other Contraband into South Carolina Prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an additional round of indictments in the case known as “Cash Cow,” involving allegations of sophisticated and highly lucrative conspiracies to smuggle large amounts of contraband into the South Carolina prisons. According to the indictments, prevalent types of contraband include pounds of loose cigarette tobacco, cell phones and cell phone accessories, marijuana, alcoholic beverages, and Synthetic Cannabinoid, also known as “K2”, “Deuce” or “Spice”.  Other drugs, such as methamphetamine, suboxone, cocaine, and crack cocaine are also…

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Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Keith Wayne Fleming, age 29, of  Charleston, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston Police Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Fleming possessed child pornography.     Fleming was arrested on September 18, 2019. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, third…

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Darlington County Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Charges with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 23, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Trevor McKenzie Allen (age 34) of  Hartsville, SC, on four charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and US Marshal’s Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Allen….

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 20, 2019- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael Andrew Shrock, (age 28) of  Greenville, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Shrock. Investigators state Shrock possessed child pornography.     Shrock…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 20, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Raymond Jones (age 31) of Myrtle Beach, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Coastal Carolina University Police Department assisted with this investigation.    Investigators state Jones distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Jones was arrested on September 18, 2019. He is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas James Phillips (age 19) of Greer, SC, on eight charges connected to the exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.Investigators with the Chandler (AZ) Police Department assisted with this investigation.   Investigators state Phillips distributed multiple files of child pornography.     Phillips was arrested on September 17, 2019. He is charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Russell Ray Johnston, IV (age 36), of Myrtle Beach, SC, on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Johnston. Investigators state Johnston possessed multiple files of…

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Attorney General Wilson one of 50 Attorneys General in Google multistate bipartisan antitrust investigation

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Sept. 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that he’s part of a multistate, bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws. The investigation includes 50 attorneys general.   The bipartisan coalition announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. Legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with Federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets.  …

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Richland County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Sept. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Belton Goff, (age 37) of Columbia, SC, on 11 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Goff. Investigators state Goff distributed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Attorney General Wilson, 19-State Coalition Files Brief to Protect Unborn Children

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Sept. 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 19-state effort in defending the right of states to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a crucial argument to protect the lives of unborn children and safeguard similar laws across the nation. “The very first, most fundamental right is the right to life and I’ve always been committed to protecting that,” said Attorney General Wilson. “This is also an issue of protecting the ability of states to pass laws that their citizens want without interference from the federal government.” The coalition’s brief leans upon…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Duncan Wolf McLaren, (age 21) of  Sharon, SC, on six charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to McLaren. Investigators state McLaren distributed and possessed files of child…

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Horry County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Paul B. Vick (age 69), of North Myrtle Beach, SC, and Lee Grant Cook, III  (age 27), of Myrtle Beach, SC, on 30 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, US Marshals Service, and 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, as well as North Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina Police Departments…

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AG Alan Wilson joins bipartisan coalition seeking congressional support for autism services

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 28, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that he is joining a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general calling upon Congress to authorize the Autism CARES Act of 2019. This legislation provides ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (“ASD”) and services to those affected by these conditions. “We need to do all that we can to make sure those on the autism spectrum get the services they need here in South Carolina and all across the country,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Research and services are making a huge difference already and…

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Aiken man gets 10 years for sexually assaulting child & creating child porn

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 27, 2019 – An Aiken man who sexually assaulted a child and created and distributed child pornography has pleaded guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes. David Urizar pleaded guilty on August 22, 2019, to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Second Degree, and one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Third Degree, before the Honorable Clifton Newman in Aiken County. Urizar was represented by Brian Katonik. On November 24, 2016, Investigator Lucinda McKellar with the SC Attorney General’s Office conducted an investigation into the online distribution of…

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Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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