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Plea in jail crack case

“The actions of Lt. Cogdill likely saved Travis Pressley’s life in addition to preserving evidence."


Career crack dealer sentenced to 15 years in prison

Laurens – A Clinton man is headed to prison for the next 15 years after pleading guilty earlier this week to a drug distribution charge, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday.

Travis O’Neal Pressley Jr., 37, of Clinton, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, second offense. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then sentenced Pressley to 15 years in prison. Pressley has numerous prior drug distribution offenses.

A jury was selected and ready to be seated Monday when Pressley elected to change his plea to guilty.

The charge stems from an incident in which Pressley was being booked into the Johnson Detention Center in Laurens County on unrelated charges. When Pressley was changing out, jail officials spotted a large baggie concealed in Pressley’s buttocks. When they entered the holding cell, officials found a large amount of crack cocaine spread out on the floor. Pressley also appeared to be chewing something and officials had to wrestle him to the ground to keep him from swallowing what turned out to be another large amount of crack.

Senior Assistant Solicitor Josh Thomas handled the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Jared Hunnicutt. Pressley was represented by Frank Eppes Jr. of the Greenville County Bar.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with jail officers, particularly Lt. Josh Cogdill, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“I am pleased to see another career drug dealer behind bars,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “The actions of Lt. Cogdill likely saved Travis Pressley’s life in addition to preserving evidence. The dedication of our law enforcement officers, like Lt. Cogdill, continues to put pressure on drug dealers in our communities and we will continue to fight the good fight until our streets are no longer plagued with illicit drugs.”