News Archive

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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Attorney General Alan Wilson Urges the FCC to Strengthen Efforts to Stop Robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 26, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom companies to implement call blocking and call authentication solutions that would protect consumers from illegal robocalls and spoofing. Today’s comment letter to the FCC comes after Attorney General Wilson and a bipartisan public-private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies  unveiled the Anti-Robocall  Principles to fight illegal robocalls last week. “We have 12 phone companies signed on to this effort but we really need all of them to put these solutions in place to be able to…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jeffrey Dale Vereen, (age 26) of  Little River, 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 Vereen. Investigators state Vereen distributed child pornography.  …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson Joins Coalition of 51 Attorneys General and 12 Companies in Fight Against Illegal Robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that as a result of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies he has joined, the phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors. “Robocalls are frustrating for all of us because we all get them, and to make that frustration worse it’s very difficult for us to do anything about them at the state level,” Attorney General Wilson…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Vince Randall Newton (age 35) of  West Columbia, 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 Newton.  Investigators state Newton distributed child pornography.  …

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Grant Nicholas Reeder (age 19) of  Jackson, SC, on 24 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.     Investigators state Reeder engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a minor, solicited a minor for sex, produced multiple files of child pornography, distributed child pornography, possessed child pornography, and distributed nude images to a minor.   Reeder was arrested on August 12, 2019.  He is charged with five…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson announces lawsuit against opioid distributors

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 15, 2019 – Today, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he has filed a lawsuit against three major opioid distributors for their part in the opioid crisis. This is the second phase of his deliberate approach to hold additional companies accountable for their role in fueling the epidemic. In his Complaint, the Attorney General alleges Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen violated  the S.C. Unfair Trade Practices Act and created a public nuisance, and seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties. The Attorney General previously filed suit on August 15, 2017 against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma L.P.,…

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Two women guilty of insurance fraud after setting fires

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Tracie Lee Grice, 48, of Tabor City, North Carolina, and Heather Beach Massey, 39, of Dillon, South Carolina, entered pleas of guilty on August 8, 2019 on insurance fraud charges. Grice pleaded guilty to one count of Arson 3rd Degree and one count of Making False Insurance claim to Obtain Benefits for Fire Loss. Massey pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting False Claim for Insurance Payment, value $10,000 or more. The Honorable Paul M. Burch accepted the pleas and sentenced Grice to 5 years…

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Upstate man gets maximum sentence for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 8, 2019 – An Upstate man accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence. Robert Keith Morgan, represented by Delane Rosemond, pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Second Degree; one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree; and one count of Obstruction of Justice, in Oconee County before the Honorable Scott Sprouse. On September 26, 2017 the 14-year-old victim disclosed to Seneca High School staff that family member Robert Keith Morgan had been sexually abusing her. The victim…

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Federal government announces it has removed one ton of plutonium from South Carolina

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 7, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy provided notice that it has removed not less than one metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina in accordance with the injunction obtained by the State from Federal District Judge Michelle Childs. Congress passed a law requiring that the plutonium be removed from the Savannah River Site by January 1, 2016 if the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Facility’s production objective was not met by January 1, 2014. That objective was not met, and the State of South Carolina sued the Department of Energy in 2016. The District…

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Hanahan Man Arrested on Criminal Sexual Conduct Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Aug. 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Terrell Darrel Crawford (age 31) of  Hanahan, SC, on one charge connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Hanahan 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 Crawford.  Investigators state Crawford engaged in criminal sexual conduct with a…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – Aug. 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jerry Randall Elrod (age 54) of  Travelers Rest, SC, on 10 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 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 Elrod. Investigators state Elrod distributed multiple files of child…

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State Grand Jury Indicts 9 People Following Investigation of an Alleged Cocaine Trafficking Organization Operating in the Upstate

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Aug. 2, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued indictments of nine people for their alleged participation in an Upstate drug trafficking conspiracy primarily involving cocaine but also other illegal narcotics. These indictments followed a multi-jurisdictional cooperative effort among a number of agencies in the area. Covering a conspiracy that began in January of 2017, the State Grand Jury returned 3 indictments alleging multiple but connected charges and conspiracies relating to trafficking 400 grams or more of cocaine. The investigation revealed that this organization allegedly…

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Pickens County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Michael Dare, (age 45) of Pickens, SC, on three 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 Dare possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Dare was arrested on July 25, 2019. He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Daniel Hamm, Jr., (age 37) of  Galivants Ferry, SC, on 13 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 Hamm. Investigators state Hamm distributed and…

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Anderson County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 26, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Justin Vaughn, (age 29) of  Anderson, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, 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 Vaughn. Investigators state…

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Alleged preacher sentenced to 9 years in prison for fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that a self-proclaimed minister and Apostle, Wendell Freeman, 61, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to prison for taking a Lexington County woman’s life savings. Freeman met the victim shortly after she retired from working for local banks for over 39 years. Freeman told the victim he was involved in a lawsuit against the State of South Carolina and that the lawsuit had already been won, but that money was needed to pay administrative fees required before the money could be paid out. Freeman promised the…

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State Grand Jury Issues Additional Indictments Relating to Trafficking of Counterfeit Pills Containing Heroin and Fentanyl, Including Murder Indictment

(COLUMBIA, SC) South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued additional indictments of three people for their alleged participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy primarily involving heroin and fentanyl. Previously, Benjamin Jamal Johnson, a/k/a Slim, 31, of Batesburg; Shiv Balvant Tailor, 21, of Lexington; and Savannah Lynn Stroud, 20, of Lexington, were all charged in May of 2019 with Trafficking Heroin 14-28 grams (Conspiracy).  Specifically, the indictment alleged the “defendants conspired to deal counterfeit ‘Roxies’ consisting of a mixture containing heroin and other substances, including in some instances fentanyl”. “It is…

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50 Attorneys General Secure $600 Million from Equifax in Largest Data Breach Settlement in History

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that a coalition of 50 Attorneys General, comprising 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has reached a settlement with Equifax as the result of an investigation into a massive 2017 data breach. The investigation found that Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults—the largest-ever breach of consumer data. The Attorneys General secured a settlement with Equifax that includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of…

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State Grand Jury Indicts Two Corrections Officers for Alleged Involvement in Smuggling Contraband within South Carolina Prisons

(COLUMBIA, SC) – July 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an additional indictment 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. The indictment alleges that Carmen Amelia Carpenter, a former SCDC Lieutenant at the Turbeville Correctional Institution, and Chesley Lavon McFadden, a former SCDC Sergeant at the Turbeville Correctional Institution, used their “position[s] as correctional officer[s] to facilitate the unlawful introduction and distribution of contraband into a prison…

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State Grand Jury Investigation into Alleged Cocaine and Crack Trafficking Results in Indictment of 13 People

(COLUMBIA, SC) – July 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that 13 people have been indicted as a result of a State Grand Jury investigation into a multi-county cocaine trafficking organization that was largely operating in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  The State Grand Jury returned indictments alleging a conspiracy to traffic cocaine dating back to January 2011, and a conspiracy to traffic crack cocaine dating back to January 2015.  The State Grand Jury also indicted for various other offenses related to trafficking of cocaine and crack, including distribution of cocaine, distribution of crack, possession of…

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SC Attorney General to Host Blood Drive

(COLUMBIA,S.C.) – July 2, 2019 –  South Carolina’s Attorney General’s Office is participating in a blood drive coordinated by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to promote NAAG’s 2019 presidential initiative on emergency and crisis management. Sixteen state attorneys general are partnering with local blood donation centers to host blood drives from late summer through early fall. South Carolina’s blood drive will be held on Friday, July 12th on the first floor of the Dennis Building on the Statehouse grounds from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.   South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said, “Blood donors are literally lifesavers…

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Ladson Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Brian Lee Glidden, (age 33) of  Ladson, 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, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department, and Mount Pleasant Police Department, all 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)…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Wayne Lindler (age 39) of  Lexington, SC, on 13 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, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Secret Service, and United States Probation, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Lindler distributed and possessed files of child pornography.  …

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Mount Pleasant Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Daniel Scott Pilecki (age 20) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 19 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 Charleston 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 Pilecki invaded the privacy of others without their knowledge or consent, and possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Pilecki…

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Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Arrests 36 Suspected Child Predators in Conjunction with Operation Broken Heart

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested 36 suspected child sex offenders in South Carolina as part of Operation Broken Heart. “I am proud of the effort by all involved with this Task Force,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “Protecting our children from Internet predators requires a collaborative effort by local, state and federal agencies working together to investigate and prosecute these offenders, as well as educate parents and their children.”   The two-month national operation was conducted during the months of April…

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Court reduces legal fees in SCE&G case and returns more money to ratepayers

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 12, 2019 – A Circuit Court judge has signed an order reducing the legal fees going to lawyers for SCE&G ratepayers, which means millions of dollars more will go back to the ratepayers. Judge John Hayes signed the order late Tuesday reducing the legal fees from $66 million to $51 million. Attorney General Alan Wilson had argued for the legal fees to be reduced, citing the fact that his office’s work was the main catalyst for settling the lawsuit and that the state’s work greatly reduced the amount of work that needed to be done by…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 44-state coalition in motion to unseal generic drug price fixing complaint

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 44-state coalition led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in a motion today to unseal their complaint against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers. The complaint, filed on May 10 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleges a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different drugs. “We announced our part in this lawsuit last month and now we want people to be able to see…

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Greenville man sentenced to prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  June 6, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Greenville man pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced to prison. Mark Woodman Mason, represented by Chase Harbin, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree before the Honorable Edward W. Miller in Greenville County. In June of 2016, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a proactive investigation into the use of computer file sharing programs for possession and distribution of files depicting the sexual…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 4, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Noah Glenn Satterfield (age 20) of  Greer, SC, on 10 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 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 Satterfield. Investigators state Satterfield distributed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – June 4, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Ronald Gregg Hinch (age 66) of Myrtle Beach, 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 Walton County Sheriff’s Office (member of the North Florida ICAC TF), Conway Police Department (also a member of the SC ICAC TF), Myrtle Beach Police Department and Coastal Carolina Police Department assisted with this investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Hinch distributed multiple…

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State Grand Jury Issues Indictment Alleging Trafficking of Counterfeit Pills Containing Heroin and Fentanyl

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 30, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has issued an indictment of three people alleging their participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving heroin and fentanyl.    Benjamin Jamal Johnson, a/k/a Slim, 31, of Batesburg; Shiv Balvant Tailor, 21, of Lexington; and Savannah Lynn Stroud, 20, of Lexington, were all charged with Trafficking Heroin 14-28 grams (Conspiracy).  Specifically, the indictment alleged the “defendants conspired to deal counterfeit ‘Roxies’ consisting of a mixture containing heroin and other substances, including in some instances fentanyl”.    The case was…

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West Columbia Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Edward Yancey (age 48) of West Columbia, SC, on ten 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, Eighth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Yancey possessed multiple files of child…

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Goose Creek Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bruce Drury (age 72) of  Goose Creek, SC, on ten 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 Drury. Investigators state Drury possessed multiple files of child pornography.  …

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AG Alan Wilson Joins 52 AG Coalition Calling for Automatic Discharges of Student Loans for Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today joined a 52 state and territory coalition of Attorneys General in urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled in connection with their military service. The bipartisan coalition issued its letter as the country prepares to honor fallen troops on Memorial Day. Last year DOE identified more than 42,000 veterans as eligible for student loan relief due to a service-related total and permanent disability, the Attorneys General note in their letter to Secretary…

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AG Alan Wilson Asks Congress to Hold Internet Service Providers Accountable, Ensure States Maintain Right to Stop Criminal Violations of State Law

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — May 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined 46 other AGs across the country this week to ask Congress, again, to amend the Communications Decency Act in order to make sure state and local authorities are able to protect our citizens online and take appropriate action against criminal actors. The Communication Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) was designed to encourage the growth of the internet by promoting free expression, particularly on online message boards. The Act was intended to allow companies who sponsor message boards to remain immune to repercussions from inappropriate posts, but,…

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Spartanburg man sentenced to 15 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 23, 2019 – A Spartanburg man guilty of child pornography and voyeurism is going to prison for 15 years. Oscar Lindsay Brogdon, Jr., represented by Rick Vieth, pleaded guilty on May 22, 2019, to nine counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd Degree, and one count of Voyeurism in front of Judge Mark Hayes in Spartanburg County. In July 2017, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office found a user requesting child pornography files on the internet. The defendant’s residence was identified as the location where the files were being requested, and a search…

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Charleston County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Frederic George Schreyer, Jr. (age 57), of Johns Island, SC, and Brandon Hamilton Beiger (age 39), of Charleston, SC, on six charges each connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Charleston Police Department and Hanahan Police Department, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators state both Schreyer and…

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Clover Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Nathaniel Blake Arguedas (age 20) and David M. Johnson (age 54), both of Clover, SC, on 27 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 arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators received CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which…

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SC Attorney General Alan Wilson partners with other attorneys general as Comcast’s Internet Essentials program expands partnerships to promote internet safety for seniors, parents, and children

(ATLANTA, GA) – May 17, 2019 – As part of its ongoing campaign to promote online safety for Internet users, Comcast today announced the latest phase of a joint effort between Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption initiative for low-income households, and three more State Attorneys General.  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall join 17 other state chief law enforcement officers committed to better educating students, parents, and seniors about how to be safe on the Internet.  Since 2011, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more…

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Former insurance producer pleads guilty to fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Robert M. Hochman, 42, of Groveland, Florida, entered a plea of guilty on May 9, 2019 on insurance fraud charges.  Hochman pleaded guilty to one count of Obtaining Property Under False Pretenses, $10,000 or More and Forgery no dollar amount.   The Honorable Thomas Russo accepted the plea and sentenced Hochman to five years in prison on the Obtaining charge and a concurrent term of three years on the Forgery charge, both of which were suspended to five years of probation. A special condition of his…

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South Carolina joins 44 state coalition in antitrust lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals, 19 other generic drug manufacturers, 15 individuals in conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for more than 100 different generic drugs

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 12, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a 44-state coalition led by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in announcing a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, also names 15 individual senior executive defendants at the heart of the conspiracy who were responsible for sales, marketing, pricing and operations. The drugs at issue account…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson asks Court to limit attorneys’ fees in SCANA case and give ratepayers rebates

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is asking the courts to reduce the legal fees requested by the lawyers for SCE&G ratepayers and instead give more money to the ratepayers. The response was filed in court late Tuesday.   Attorneys who represented SCE&G’s ratepayers have asked the Court for $63.5 million in contingency fees and costs for their lawsuit against SCANA over its failed nuclear reactors project. That lawsuit led to a $2.2 billion settlement that includes at least $115 million in refunds to SCE&G ratepayers.   In the filing, the attorney general says,…

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Greenville County Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Norman Newton Winkles (age 50) of  Marietta, SC, and Robert Cintron (age 57) of Greenville, SC, on 10 charges each 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 Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigations.   Investigators state Winkles distributed child pornography and both Winkles and Cintron possessed files of…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Robert Blackwell (age 21) of  Lexington, 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 state Blackwell engaged in the production of child pornography.   Blackwell was arrested on April 20, 2019.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree (§16-15-395), a felony offense punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.   The case…

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Coalition of 42 Attorneys General Urge FCC to Take Action Against Robocalls, Caller ID Spoofing

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 6, 2019 – Today, a coalition of 42 Attorneys General joined in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.   In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the RAY BAUM’S Act…

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82 Arrested in Multi-State Child Exploitation Operation Named “Operation Southern Impact III”

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 3, 2019 – A total of 82 people were arrested, and 17 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight (8) southeastern states. The joint, proactive operation, Operation Southern Impact III, was coordinated by ten (10) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in those eight states and focused on persons who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet.  The planning for Operation Southern Impact III began approximately 4 months ago and culminated in 3 days of investigative…

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Co-defendant in insurance fraud case pleads guilty

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that William Jackson Johnson pleaded guilty on April 23rd to his part in an insurance fraud case in Lexington County. The Honorable Frank Addy accepted his plea to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 or More and sentenced Johnson to three years in prison, suspended to 60 days in jail, five years of probation and $9,000 restitution. Johnson is the co-defendant of Brenda M. Leno, 55, of Lexington, South Carolina. She entered a plea of guilty on March 27, 2019, also on…

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Attorney General Wilson cautiously optimistic about federal government’s decision to halt expansion of offshore drilling

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson reacted today to news that the U.S. Department of Interior has decided to indefinitely halt plans to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast. AG Wilson filed a lawsuit against the federal government to halt the drilling and the seismic testing preceding it, arguing the seismic blasts would harm wildlife and the state’s fishing and tourism industries.   The Trump administration’s decision came after an Alaskan court ruled that one president cannot undo what a previous president had done. Former President Obama banned drilling in the Alaskan Arctic and…

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

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages all South Carolinians to take part in National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April, 27th, 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 October, Americans collected a record-breaking 914,236 pounds of prescription drugs, more than the weight of three Boeing 757s. There are more than 4,000 locations nationwide where you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines….

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Florence Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Edward Moore, III, (age 68) of  Florence, 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 Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshal’s Service, and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center…

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Florence County Sheriff Boone indicted by State Grand Jury; charged with Misconduct in Office and Embezzlement

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 24, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today the State Grand Jury returned indictments against Florence County Sheriff William Kenney Boone. He was charged with one count of Misconduct in Office and two counts of Embezzlement. The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The embezzlement offense is a statutory felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court. The indictment alleges that Boone used both county and federal funds allocated to the Florence County Sheriff’s…

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Wilson: State Receives $78.7 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the State secured $78,723,031.53 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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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces South Carolina consumers have received more than $1.4 million as part of settlement in debt-buying case

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 18, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that South Carolina residents have received more than $1.4 million as part of a multistate settlement in a debt-buying case. South Carolina joined 41 states and the District of Columbia last December in reaching a $6 million settlement with Encore Capital Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest debt buyers, and its subsidiaries Midland Credit Management, Inc. and Midland Funding, LLC. Debt buying involves buying and selling overdue debts from creditors and other account owners. While the debt is often purchased for pennies on the dollar, debt…

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AG Wilson announces that leader of staged-accidents ring sentenced to prison

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 17, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Tyburious Heyward, 21, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on April 12, 2019 on insurance fraud charges. Heyward pleaded guilty to three counts of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000, which are 10 year felonies. Heyward was considered the ringleader of a Sumter County staged accident and fraudulent medical bills ring. The Honorable Kristi Curtis accepted the plea and sentenced Heyward to five years in prison. Heyward was already sentenced to 18 months in prison for a July Failure…

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State expands program to help sexual assault victims who may have been exposed to HIV

(CONWAY, S.C.) – A new Horry County program has been established to meet the needs of sexual assault victims who may have been exposed to HIV. South Carolina is in the forefront of the nationto offer a program that prevents sexual assault victims from contracting HIV, and that program is now expanding to its third location in the state. The Careteam Plus Family Health & Specialty Care Facility in Horry County will provide HIV nPEP treatment and follow-up care to victims of sexual assault when they are found to be at risk for contracting HIV from the sexual assault. The treatment…

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Brantley D. Thomas, III, former Chief Financial Officer of the Berkeley County School District, pleads guilty to State Grand Jury Public Corruption Indictments

(COLUMBIA, SC) – April 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Brantley D. Thomas, III, 62, who was the long-time lead financial officer for the Berkeley County School District [BCSD], pleaded guilty today to all 35 State Grand Jury charges of public corruption.  THOMAS also pleaded guilty to two charges related to his stealing from a business that hired him as a bookkeeper after he was fired from the School District – including stealing from the business while he was out on federal and state bond. Relating to his theft from the BCSD, THOMAS pleaded guilty…

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Horry County man sentenced to 9 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 10, 2019 – A registered sex offender from Horry County was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for possessing child pornography. Harrold Nello Harris, represented by Jim Stanko, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree before the Honorable Benjamin H. Culbertson in Horry County. In December of 2017, Harrold Nello Harris was taken into custody for a probation violation. He was a registered sex offender after being convicted of Lewd Act on a Minor in January 2017. The probation agent discovered child pornography on Harris’ phone and referred the case to Detective…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of James Albert McClung (age 46) of Myrtle Beach, 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 state McClung distributed multiple files of child pornography.     McClung was arrested on April 9, 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.  …

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Darlington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Johnny Calhoun McInville, III (age 48) of  Darlington, SC, on one charge 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 Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and United States Secret Service, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state McInville possessed child pornography.     McInville was arrested on April 8, 2019.  He is…

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Lancaster County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Travis Kenton John (age 40) of  Indian Land, SC, on nine 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 Homeland Security Investigations, also a member of the ICAC Task Force, assisted in the investigation.   Investigators state John distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     John was arrested on April 4, 2019.  He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a…

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Conway Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Derick Dee Herrington (age 34) of  Conway, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Conway Police Department made the arrest.  Investigators with  the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Coastal Carolina University Police Department 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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Florence Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  – April 9, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Samuel Joseph Lee Holiman, (age 18) of  Florence, SC, on eight charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Florence 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 Holiman. Investigators state Holiman distributed and possessed files…

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AG Alan Wilson joins 36 other AGs expressing concern over HHS draft report on opioids

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sharing concerns about the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report (Draft Report). The letter was addressed to Dr. Vanila Singh, chief medical officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. As it stands, the Draft Report deviates from guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are aimed at decreasing the risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests providers can rely solely on their judgement instead of…

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Lexington County woman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 29, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Brenda M. Leno, 55, of Lexington, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on March 27, 2019 on an insurance fraud charge.  Leno pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 or More. The Honorable Frank Addy accepted the plea and sentenced Mrs. Leno to 18 months in prison, which was suspended to 5 years of probation.  A special condition of her probation is that she pay $18,000 of restitution to the insurance company, the amount she received through the…

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Jonathon Tant (age 18) of  North Augusta, SC, on 20 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, 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 Tant. Investigators state Tant possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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FREE clinic coming up for veterans & service members with legal needs

(COLUMBIA, S.C. ) – Veterans, members of the Reserves, and active-duty members of the military are invited to a FREE legal clinic on Friday, April 5th at Upstate Warrior Solutions in Greenville. This clinic is sponsored by the SC Attorney General’s V.A.L.O.R. Program, which was announced on Veterans Day last year. V.A.L.O.R. stands for Veterans & Armed Forces Legal OutReach.   Attorney General Alan Wilson is scheduled to attend the clinic. “The legal profession has always recognized it has a moral obligation to support those who defend the freedoms we treasure,” said Attorney General Wilson, who’s also a Colonel in the…

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Murrells Inlet Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jason Michael Holsinger (age 36) of  Murrells Inlet, SC, on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office made the arrest.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and Horry County Sheriff’s Office, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and Coastal Carolina University Police assisted with this investigation and arrest.     Investigators state Holsinger distributed files of child pornography.     Holsinger was arrested on March 26, 2019. …

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Florence County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Timothy Glen Kaylor (age 65) of  Florence, SC, on 10 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 Florence Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Kaylor possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Kaylor was arrested on March 21, 2019. …

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Four Arrested in Lexington County on Child Pornography and Related Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  March 21, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Michael Dunn (age 18) of Gaston, SC, Jerome Antonio Summers  (age 36) of Cayce, SC, Joseph Matthew Hay (age 25) of West Columbia, SC, and Kaden Charles Hylton Rhoades (age 19) of Columbia, SC, on 35 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 Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC…

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Lancaster County man sentenced to 10 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 20, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lancaster County man has been convicted of having child pornography and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ray Gene Cook, Jr., represented by Mark Grier, pleaded guilty today to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, before the Honorable Roger E. Henderson in Lancaster County. In May of 2016, Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a proactive investigation into the use of computer file sharing programs for possession and distribution on the internet of files depicting…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Germelman White, Jr., (age 50) of  North Charleston, SC, on 20 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester 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 White. Investigators state White distributed and possessed files of child…

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Spartanburg man sentenced to prison for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 18, 2019 – A Spartanburg man has been sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography. On December 13, 2018, David Mark Dagostino, represented by Tom Quinn, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, in front of Judge Grace Knie in Spartanburg County. Between October 2016 and May 2017, Dagostino distributed multiple files of child pornography to both Lucinda McKellar and Kevin Atkins with the SC Attorney General’s Office.  After executing a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, additional files of child pornography were located on his computer equipment. On March 14,…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 18, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Anthony Castelli (age 70) 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 state Castelli distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Castelli was arrested on March 15, 2019.  He is charged with two 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; and four counts…

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SC Crime Victim Assistance Grants–2019 Grant Solicitation Workshop

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the 2019 Grant Solicition Workshop for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and State Victims Assistance Grant Program (SVAP) grants.    The primary purposes of the workshop is: ·         Advise potential applicants of the eligible areas in which they may apply (e.g., direct services to victims of crime). ·         The opening and closing dates of the solicitation (March 18th and April 30th) and when the one-year grant cycle begins (October 1, 2019). ·         What items or services are allowable under federal guidelines and what must be…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 13, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Freeman Sturgis (age 31) of  Rock Hill, SC, on 10 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 state Sturgis possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Sturgis was arrested on March 12, 2019.  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.   The case will…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 12, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Patrick Joseph Power (age 56) of  Fountain Inn, 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 the investigation.   Investigators state Power distributed files of child pornography.     Power was arrested on March 6, 2019.  He is charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second…

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Lexington County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Dale Baldwin (age 36) of  Swansea, SC, on nine 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 Baldwin possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Baldwin was arrested on March 5, 2019.  He is charged with nine 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 will be…

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North Charleston Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Larry Joe Dixon, Jr. (age 43) of  North Charleston, SC, on 10 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester 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 this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Dixon. Investigators state…

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Charleston County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 7, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Chad Horst Kramolowski (age 32) of  Mount Pleasant, SC, on 20 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 Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Mount Pleasant Police Department, both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Kramolowski possessed multiple files of child pornography.     Kramolowski was arrested on March 6, 2019.  He…

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Attorney General Wilson raises awareness of tech support scams

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson, in coordination with attorneys general from across the country through the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), has joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulators in raising awareness of tech support scams. As part of this effort, NAAG and the Department of Justice today announced a sweep of elder fraud cases and focused particular attention on tech support scams as a major threat to senior citizens. These scams work in similar ways. Scammers use phone calls and online ads resembling security alerts from major technology companies…

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Spartanburg County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Marco Antonio Molina (age 36) of  Inman, SC, on 12 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 Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and United States Secret Service, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the execution of the search warrant and arrest.   Investigators state Molina distributed and possessed files of child pornography.    …

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Neeses Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Clayton Lamar Williams (age 24) of  Neeses, SC, on one charge connected to the solicitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington 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 solicited a minor for sex.   Williams was arrested on February 28, 2019.  He is charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor (§16-15-342), a felony…

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Mauldin man sentenced to 5 years for child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Michael Christopher Baukovic, represented by Randy Chambers, pleaded guilty today to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree in front of Judge Letitia Verdin in Greenville County.    In 2016, Special Investigator Lucinda McKeller with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Lieutenant Kevin Murphy with the Berkeley County Sherriff’s Office conducted independent, proactive investigations into the use of computer file-sharing programs for possession and distribution of files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors on the internet. On separate occasions, both…

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Attorney General Alan Wilson urges Congress to take action against robocalls

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 5, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today urged the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. A coalition of 54 attorneys general sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the TRACED Act. The 54 attorneys general include the attorneys general from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 territories.  The legislation is sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey. “We all get robocalls and spoofed calls, where a scammer or telemarketer…

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Insurance fraud ring leader pleads guilty in multiple cases

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – On February 28, 2019, Gregory Vaughn pleaded guilty to five counts of Presenting a False Claim for Insurance Payment, Value More Than $10,000.  As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to five years in prison, to run concurrently on all charges, by Judge Ralph Cothran in Clarendon County.  The case was investigated by Special Agent Joseph Neff of SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Savanna Goude.      Vaughn was the ring leader of an insurance fraud ring operating in Sumter County.  He coordinated and staged five different incidents in Sumter County,…

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Three Lowcountry Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Kamal Malik Howard (age 21) and Richard Alan Baker (age 54), both of  Summerville, SC, and Christopher William King (age 24), of North Charleston, SC, on 20 charges each connected to the sexual exploitation of minors.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office made the arrests.  Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Summerville Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with these investigations and arrests.   Investigators received…

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SC Attorney General asks court for injunction to block pending offshore testing

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 1, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed a motion in federal court asking for a preliminary injunction to block possible offshore testing, permits for which could be issued as early as today, with testing beginning 30 days later. The motion is in support of a lawsuit he joined filed by coastal cities and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. They approved seismic testing permits for companies to start looking for oil and natural gas by firing airgun blasts at the ocean…

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Horry County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Hoyt Wayne Norris, Jr. (age 49) 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 the investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Norris. Investigators state Norris possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Dorchester County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 27, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jordan Rashaun Gerald (age 27) of  Summerville, SC, on 20 charges connected to the exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Dorchester 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 Gerald. Investigators state Gerald distributed and possessed files of child pornography.    …

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Attorney General Alan Wilson announces start of Wells Fargo consumer redress review program

Program allows consumers who have not been made whole through other remediation programs to have inquiry reviewed by escalation team (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 28, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced that Wells Fargo has begun a consumer redress review program through which consumers who have not yet been made whole through other remediation programs already in place can seek to have their inquiry or complaint reviewed by a Wells Fargo escalation team for possible relief. “Wells Fargo had already set up programs to fix the problems it caused consumers, but some people got left out…

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State Grand Jury Issues Superseding Indictment Alleging Public Corruption by Former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson and his Former Director of Communications Nicole H. Holland

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Feb. 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that the South Carolina State Grand Jury has again issued a superseding indictment related to allegations of corruption at the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. On February 21, 2019, the State Grand Jury issued a superseding indictment against former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson.  He had been previously indicted in September 2018 for Misconduct in Office and Embezzlement of Public Funds, and the superseding State Grand Jury indictment expanded those charges and also added a charge against Daniel Edward Johnson for Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. Nicole…

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Greenville County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Bobby Justin Smith (age 35) of  Travelers Rest, 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 and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), both also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation and arrest.   Investigators state Smith distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Smith was arrested on February 19, 2019.  He is charged with…

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York County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Terry Dale Burchett (age 69) of  Rock Hill, SC, on 10 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 Burchett. Investigators state Burchett possessed multiple files of child pornography.    …

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Aiken County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Tracy Lee Smith (age 61) of  Aiken, SC, on 25 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 state Smith distributed and possessed files of child pornography.     Smith was arrested on February 18, 2019.  He is charged with 11 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; and 14 counts…

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Florence County Man Arrested on Solicitation of a Minor Charge

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 19, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Larry Dakota Blaze Kelly (age 20) of  Florence, SC, on one charge 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 with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (MD) assisted with this investigation.   Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Kelly. Investigators state Kelly solicited a minor for sex.   Kelly was arrested on February 12, 2019.  He is…

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Clarendon County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Feb. 15, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of David Dwayne Womack (age 28) of  Olanta, SC, on 10 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 South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Clarendon 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 Womack….

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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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