South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson will announce the indictment of eight gang members this week at a press event including law enforcement officers from Lexington County, the city of Columbia, S.C., the city of Cayce, S.C., the city of Swansea, S.C. and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
According to our sources, these indictments – handed down by the statewide grand jury – will include charges of murder, attempted murder, burglary, conspiracy and “other offenses” related to gang activities in the Midlands region of the state.
All of the indicted individuals reportedly belong to the Blood gang – one of several street organizations active in the Palmetto State’s poorest, most crime-ridden areas (and behind the walls of our state’s increasingly violent prisons). In fact, several Blood members – “renegades,” we’re told – were part of a deadly brawl that killed seven inmates last month at Lee Correctional Institution, a level-three (maximum security) prison in Bishopville, S.C. run by the embattled S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).
According to our sources, the various law enforcement agencies involved in this operation began investigating a series of shootings that took place on April 8, 2016 at several different locations in Lexington County, S.C. and in the city of Columbia. It soon became clear to police that these shootings were connected – tied to burglaries at car dealerships and various vehicle thefts in Lexington and Newberry counties.
Once the cases were determined to be connected, the various local law enforcement agencies investigating the crimes reached out to SLED for assistance in what was “determined to be a multi-jurisdictional gang investigation.”[timed-content-server show=”2018-Jan-17 00:00:00″ hide=”2018-May-18 00:00:00″]
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We’ll wait for Wilson’s official announcement tomorrow, but we’re told the indictments he’s announcing cover the various vehicle thefts as well as a drive-by shooting at a Lexington County bus stop and another drive-by shooting at the Hammond Village apartment complex in Columbia, S.C.
The second shooting resulted in the death of a Blood gang member.
One of the individuals associated with this case – Daiquan Lamont Brooks – was already in SCDC custody at the time of the indictments being issued. Another – William Anthony Burrell Jr. – was in the custody of the Richland County, S.C. sheriff’s department. The rest have reportedly already been booked after being denied bond.
Obviously any of the defendants named in connection with this week’s announcement should be considered innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers (or until such time as they issue a pleading in connection with the charges filed against them).
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