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CRIME -- The victim stated that the subject became aggressive and held her down, placing his hands around her neck.

Two other cases involve sex acts with babies


On January 30th, deputies responded to Reedy Creek Road in Fountain Inn in reference to an assault that had already occurred. The victim stated that the subject became aggressive and held her down, placing his hands around her neck. Subject then grabbed her by her hair and slammed her down on the hardwood floors before striking her multiple times in the face. The subject left the scene prior to the arrival of deputies, who went forward with their investigation and obtained warrants for Assault and Battery 1st degree, as well as Kidnapping.
On February 1st, deputies were following up on the above mentioned case and while in the area of Highway 418 and Scuffletown Road, the subject’s vehicle was observed. Deputies had knowledge of this individual making previous threats to harm himself and possibly being in possession of a handgun. The subject refused to stop for deputies and continued on Highway 418 toward Thomason Road. Deputies made multiple attempts to make contact once the subject eventually stopped the vehicle. The LCSO drone was activated in an attempt to maintain deputy safety and from this surveillance, it was determined that the subject had possibly hurt himself. Deputies made entry into the vehicle where they discovered him deceased from a self-inflicted wound. 
SLED was called to the scene to continue the investigation. The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office does not normally identify subjects whose manner of death is suicide, however due to the totality of circumstances, the individual has been identified as 36 year old Bradley David Atwell of Fountain Inn. 

"This is an unfortunate incident and I am thankful that no residents or deputies were injured. Due to their quick thinking and utilization of the drone, the situation was contained in a professional manner.” 

Sheriff Don Reynolds

Laurens County Sheriff's Office


On January 30th at approximately 11:30AM, deputies responded to the area of Summit Street and Torrington Road in Clinton in reference to suspicious individuals trespassing in an area where thefts have previously occurred. Deputies did conduct surveillance and were able to observe two subjects on the property, appearing to be collecting items for the purpose of removing them from the property. Deputies approached the subjects who advised that they intended to take the copper to sell. Various tools used to cut copper materials were observed. Both individuals were arrested and charged as follows:

Reed Stephen Cox of Clinton:

-Larceny $2000 or less


-Malicious Injury to Property

-Possession of Tools Capable of Being Used in Crime

Clayton Cory Claybone Allen of Clinton:

-Larceny $2000 or less


-Malicious Injury to Property

-Possession of Tools Capable of Being Used in Crime

“We appreciate vigilant citizens who speak up when they see something that isn’t right. This is another example of criminals trying to get something for nothing. I appreciate these deputies working hard to protect the property of others.” – Sheriff Don Reynolds

Laurens Police Department posted:


Successful narcotics op update! LPD SWAT, Uniform Patrol, and Detectives Bureau collaborated on a drug investigation. The team executed a drug search warrant at 303 Crescent Drive, Laurens, SC.

As a result:

Quamorrin Richey was charged with Possession w/ Intent to Distribute a schedule 1 controlled substance & Purchase of a schedule 1 controlled substance near a school. 

Enicholas Leake faces charges of Distribution of a schedule 1 controlled substance (2nd offense), Possession w/ Intent to Distribute of a schedule 1 controlled substance (2nd offense), Transporting money that was obtained through drug activity, and Distribution near school. 

Seized as a result of this investigation were 2 cars used for transactions/transportation, 1 firearm, almost a pound of a schedule 1 controlled substance, and $14,000+ cash 

Kudos to Detectives, Uniform Patrol, and SWAT for making our streets safer! 

Newberry County Sheriff's Office posted

A Laurens County man was arrested for drug and weapon violations following an investigation on 01/17/2024.  The Whitmire Police Department began investigating drug trafficking coming into Whitmire and enlisted the assistance of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.  While conducting surveillance, Police Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies observed a subject driving on McDonald Street failing to use proper signaling to turn and an equipment violation.  When a traffic stop was attempted, a suspect from the passenger side attempted to flee.  Law Enforcement noticed the suspect throwing a firearm and a bag and were able to locate and secure the evidence.  Joshua Stroud Gibbs was arrested after a brief chase.  Investigating Officers found large quantities of drugs located in the bag and on the person of Joshua Gibbs. Joshua Stroud Gibbs, 39 years old of Renno Rd, Clinton SC was charged with Trafficking Fentanyl, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime, and Possession of a Weapon by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime. Gibbs is being detained at the Newberry County Detention Center pending due course of law. The driver of the vehicle was cited for traffic violations and released.

Sheriff Foster complimented the Whitmire Police Department for garnering the information to get the drugs off the streets and law enforcement’s cooperation to investigate crimes.    

Chief Michael Moss stated, “It is great to have such a great working relationship with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office that we can work together to protect the citizens of Whitmire and Newberry County.”

Laurens Police Department posted

Urgent Help Needed! 

Laurens PD seeks your assistance in identifying owners of these motorcycles. 

On 1-21-2024 (Sunday) at approximately 5:30 pm, in the area of Spring St. and Church Street, dozens of motorcycles and 4-wheelers were recklessly driving on city streets. 

When officers intervened, most fled, including the two bikes pictured, used by unknown males to evade police. 

Laurens PD sends a strong message: reckless behavior won't be tolerated! 

Motorcycles or ATVs driven improperly will be impounded, and those responsible will face legal consequences. Your cooperation ensures safer roadways. 

Laws Violated:

WC code 50 section 26 pertains to ATV laws for our state. 50-26-30 addresses kids riding them, while 50-26-40 outlines restrictions limiting riders. They can NOT ride on public roadways without rear tail lights and brake lights. They can't ride from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise without a headlight. Registration and insurance are a must if over 50cc; if less, they could be classified as a moped, still requiring registration. A licensed driver, helmet, and safety goggles are essential.

More Details on the Location:

These riders were also driving recklessly in front of the Gulf station on Hwy. 14 when they had a mishap. Regrouping behind the store, they got back onto the roadway when ready. It's crucial to find these suspects and hold them accountable, as they endanger public safety and their own. Many appear to be juveniles, posing a great risk to public safety and property. Ultimately, we want to avoid serious injuries or fatalities due to this behavior.

They were speeding, riding wheelies, driving two and three wide on both sides of the road, failing to stop for blue lights, disregarding stop lights and stop signs. 

Options Available to Offenders: 

If you run, we will come get your ATV and put you in jail. If you comply, we will, at most, write you a citation and figure out a way to get you home. The one rider who stopped for us was let go with a warning, while others will be held accountable. 

Laurens Police Department posted

Press Release 

Laurens PD Officers swiftly respond to a grand larceny at a local cellular store in the city of Laurens – over $6k in items stolen! On 01/19/24, FedEx delivers 2 packages with 5 iPhones & accessories worth $6,165. Neighboring business employee signs for them, but CCTV catches manager, Dontavious Shumpert, taking the boxes outside. 

Warrant issued for Grand larceny more than $2k less than 10k, and officers nab Shumpert at his job. Stolen property recovered! 

Laurens County Sheriff’s Office posted:

Yesterday (1/29) at approximately 9AM, deputies on routine patrol in the area of South Frontage Road and Cook Road in Gray Court observed a subject operating a black Honda sedan at inconsistent rates of speed and appearing to have trouble maintaining lanes. The tag on the vehicle was expired and deputies were able to identify the driver as Joshua Harvey.  A traffic stop was attempted, however the driver refused to stop and once the pursuit crossed the Greenville County line, a decision was made to terminate the pursuit at that time.
At approximately 2:45 PM this same afternoon, deputies were in the vicinity of the subject’s residence following up on the morning’s pursuit. The same vehicle (spray painted white at this time in an attempt to evade law enforcement) was observed being recklessly driven in the area of Bull Hill Road and another traffic stop was attempted at which time the subject again refused to stop. Due to the time frame and school traffic, the pursuit was terminated briefly for safety reasons. The pursuit was resumed as the subject continued on Highway 14 in the direction of I-385, where the driver passed cars unlawfully and recklessly. The vehicle was successfully disabled on 385 Northbound and this time, the driver was identified as Harvey’s paramour, Rosie Smith.

 Animal Control arrived on scene to recover one dog, one cat, and four chickens that were all inside the suspect vehicle during the time of this pursuit.

 Both subjects were arrested and charged as follows, with more charges pending:

Joshua David Harvey of Gray Court:

-Failure to Stop

-Operating with Expired Registration

-No Proof of Insurance

-Unlawful Operation of Vehicle (Defective equipment)

-Unsecured Load

Rosie Tressa Nicole Smith of Gray Court:

-Failure to Stop

-DUI, 1st Offense

-Two Counts of Ill Treatment of Animals, 1st

-Driving Under Suspension, 1st

-Unlawful Operation of Vehicle (Defective equipment)

-Operating with Expired Registration

-Seatbelt Violation
“These Bonnie and Clyde wannabees have tried to make fleeing from law enforcement a habit, but eventually your luck runs out. I want to thank the deputies involved for their work to put these two behind bars and I am thankful for a safe conclusion.” – Sheriff Don Reynolds

Four Indicted in Interstate Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

COLUMBIA — A federal grand jury in Columbia returned a 10-count indictment charging four Columbia-area defendants in a child sex trafficking conspiracy:

  • Antonio Marquis Nicholson, 32, of West Columbia, was charged with human trafficking conspiracy, three counts sex trafficking of a minor, three counts coercion and enticement of a minor, interstate travel to promote illegal sexual activity, interstate transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity, and one count of witness tampering.
  • Monesha Tatayana Lapri Gary, 24, of Clinton, was charged with human trafficking conspiracy, three counts of sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of coercion and enticement of a minor.
  • Rebecca Melanie Perry, 30, of Columbia, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, was charged with human trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor, and interstate travel to promote illegal sexual activity.
  • Terrell Counts, 33, of Columbia, was charged with three counts coercion and enticement of a minor.

The indictment alleges the following:

Between December 2022 and July 2023, the conspiracy that included Nicholson, Gary, and Perry enticed, transported, harbored, and maintained in the commercial sex trade at least three minor victims. The conspirators recruited victims who were minors and runaways, then provided lingerie, obtained photographs, and advertised minor victims on the internet for commercial sex. Members of the conspiracy communicated with customers and arranged commercial sex for customers with the minors and then confiscated proceeds. The conspiracy exercised supervision, violence, and control, including force, fraud, and coercion, to obtain commercial sex. The indictment further alleges that Nicholson and Perry travelled across state lines, and that Nicholson transported a minor from North Carolina to South Carolina, for the purposes of illegal sexual activity.

Nicholson, Gary, and Perry face a mandatory 15 years in prison, Counts faces a mandatory 10 years, and each defendant faces up to life in prison. The defendants also face life terms of supervision by the federal court following any term of imprisonment, sex offender registration, and mandatory restitution payable to victims.

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon will preside over the case. Gary and Counts were ordered detained by United States Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett pending any trial or bond hearing. Nicholson and Perry will be arraigned on Jan. 30 at 10:00 a.m. at the Matthew J. Perry Courthouse. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Columbia Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, West Columbia Police Department, Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Horry County Sheriff’s Office, Myrtle Beach Police Department, and Jefferson County (Alabama) Sheriff's Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elliott B. Daniels and Ariyana N. Gore are prosecuting the case. 

U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces Blythewood woman sentenced to 28 years for sexually assaulting infant

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that on January 30, 2024, Taylor Schiel pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree in Richland County before the Honorable Thomas W. Cooper, Jr.

On August 20, 2021, Special Investigator Jason Hughes with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office received a phone call from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) regarding a request for information from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Per the request, Investigator Anthony Tucker, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force officer in Texas, had been working a cybertip involving an individual in Texas. While working the investigation, law enforcement reviewed a cell phone and found a video of the sexual assault of a baby boy located in Blythewood, South Carolina. After receiving the Texas case file, Special Investigator Jason Hughes began his investigation. Investigator Hughes’ investigation revealed that an adult woman named Taylor Schiel lived at the residence associated with the video. An exhaustive search of Ms. Schiel’s social media accounts was conducted by Forensic Examiner Jamie Johnson with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office and the examination revealed several videos showing the sexual assault of a male infant. Many of the videos of the sexual assault of the baby were spliced with videos of Ms. Schiel engaging in sexual activity with an adult male.

On August 25th, 2021, a search warrant was executed at the Blythewood residence. Ms. Schiel was at home at the time and, after being advised of her Miranda rights, agreed to speak to Investigator Hughes. Ms. Schiel admitted to sexually assaulting the baby, recording the assaults, and sending the videos to the individual in Texas.

Judge Cooper sentenced Ms. Schiel to 20 years in prison on one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree; and eight years on the 2nd count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree, to be run consecutively for a total of 28 years at the South Carolina Department of Corrections. She received credit for 899 days and will have to register as a Tier 2 sex offender upon her release.

I want to take the time to acknowledge the hard work of Texas Investigator Anthony Tucker, who was very helpful in providing case information to the SC Attorney General’s Office regarding his findings, as well as SCAG Investigator Jason Hughes, who worked tirelessly to apprehend Ms. Schiel as quickly as possible so that she could not further victimize the child. Also, a special thank you to Forensic Examiner Jamie Johnson who examined countless images and videos searching for files showing the assault of the baby. Her exam made it possible to bring additional charges against Ms. Schiel after her initial arrest.

Union Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Creating Child Sex Abuse Materials

U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

GREENVILLE — Britney Sheppard Campbell, 36, of Union, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to production of child sex abuse materials.

Evidence presented to the court showed that from January 2014 to 2016, at the request of her boyfriend, Campbell agreed to create child sex abuse materials. In the course of a babysitting job, Campbell performed sexual acts on an infant, filmed the acts, and provided the images to her boyfriend. She also agreed to perform and record sex acts with an Alzheimer’s patient for whom she provided care.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the boyfriend’s home based on information that he was receiving and sending child sex abuse materials. With the seizure of his computer, law enforcement discovered the images of Campbell and the victim. Campbell admitted to the production of the materials. Her boyfriend died before the investigation was complete.

United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain sentenced Campbell to 300 months imprisonment, to be followed by a lifetime of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins is prosecuting the case.

Whitmire man sentenced to 30 years in prison for roadside shooting

Posted on February 2, 2024 by Admin

8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office

LAURENS – A Whitmire man will spend the next three decades behind bars after pleading guilty Wednesday to shooting a man and leaving him for dead along a roadside in Newberry County, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday.

Blaize Pedro Plaza, 21, of Whitmire, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon at the Laurens County Courthouse to a charge of murder. Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then sentenced Plaza to 30 years in prison. Under South Carolina law, sentences for murder must be served day-for-day, with no possibility of parole or early release.  Plaza’s trial was scheduled to go forward on Monday, February 5th in Newberry.

Just a few days before Christmas in 2021, Plaza and his girlfriend were riding with the victim, 24-year-old Jamal Alston, in the early morning hours when an argument ensued. Alston pulled the vehicle over alongside Highway 66 in the Whitmire area of Newberry County to allow Plaza to use the restroom. At some point during that stop, Plaza shot Alston five times with a 9 mm pistol before fleeing the scene in Alston’s vehicle, leaving Alston gravely wounded on the side of the road.

A passing motorist spotted Alston and contacted authorities for help. About the same time, a vehicle fire was reported in Union County. The vehicle belonged to Alston. Investigators quickly developed Plaza as a suspect and within 24 hours they located and interviewed both Plaza and his girlfriend. Plaza confessed to the crime and his story was corroborated by his girlfriend.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Solicitor Taylor Daniel and Assistant Solicitor Bret Price, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Jeremiah Sinclair. Plaza was represented by Tristan Shaffer of the 8th Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his team, along with Maj. Robert Dennis and Lt. Michael Claytor of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and State Law Enforcement Division investigators Michelle Rice-Johnson and Jacob Pridgeon, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“What likely started as a good night for Jamal Alston ended in tragedy over a meaningless argument,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “I cannot say enough about the great investigative work done in this case that allowed us to get justice for Jamal and his family quickly. I pray his family can find closure and begin to heal from the senseless death of their loved one.”