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They were arrested in a Myrtle Beach area drug bust. Their pasts include murder charges.

The Sun News logo The Sun News 1/4/2021 Alex Lang, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

Jan. 4—Arrests for murder, drug trafficking, assaults and weapon charge dot the criminal pasts of the 26 people charged by local police during a recent drug bust in Myrtle Beach.

Despite the violent criminal histories, they were on the streets and allowed to move drugs throughout Horry County, investigators claim.

In early December, Myrtle Beach police, Horry County police, federal officials and other law enforcement agencies announced the charges in a recent, large-scale drug bust along the Grand Strand. There have been a few other similar operations in recent years that netted dozens of arrests.

In announcing the latest arrests, U.S Attorney Everett McMillan called the 26-people one of the county's larger drug organizations.

"Many many kilograms of drugs a year was the result of this group," McMillan said.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock said local police agencies are working together to rid the community of the drugs that are in the area.

"These cases are what is going to make a difference and make a change," she said.

Many suspects in the case were familiar to the police as they have been arrested before. Some have been accused in connection to high-profile crimes, others have dozens of previous charges in Horry County.

Department of Justice declined to speak further about the operation when contacted after the announcement. But, sources familiar with the investigation said that federal officials would have been aware of the suspect's criminal histories. The same sources, who could not publicly comment on the investigation, said the bust shows law enforcement is arresting people at the heart of drug operations and not low-level participants.

Murder Arrests

Two of the people arrested in the most recent operation were once charged with murder in Horry County. Gary Jackson, 30, was one of several people arrested in connection to a shooting at Koyote Saloon on Memorial Day weekend 2018.

Prosecutors said a shooting erupted outside the bar, with several people firing, leaving doubt on who fired the shot that killed Reginald Washington.

Jackson later had the murder charge dropped and pleaded guilty to a weapon charge in May. He was sentenced to one year in jail that was suspended for three years probation.

Shackeel Coleman, 29, was also arrested in the recent bust and once faced murder charges. Horry County police charged him in 2012 in connection to a shooting that left David Jermaine Williams, 38, dead at a Conway area home. Police said at the time that Coleman went to the home after he learned his mom and Williams argued over property.

That charged was later dismissed.

Assaults and drugs charges

Coleman was also arrested in September this year in North Carolina after police say they found more than six kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle, according to the Johnston County Report. Yenitza Coleman, 27, was in the vehicle and charged with trafficking cocaine.

Yenitza Coleman was one of the 26 people charged in the most recent Myrtle Beach area drug bust.

Lenard Hemingway, 53, was charged in the most recent bust, and he was free on $20,000 bond after a September arrest by Horry County police. Officers stopped a Ford-150 for speeding and found cocaine in the vehicle, according to a police report.

Hemingway was charged with trafficking 400 grams or more of cocaine and his case remains active.

Some of the suspects in the recent bust also faced assault charges in the past. Harry Bellamy, 41, was suspected in a stabbing at the Sun Up bar on Socastee Boulevard in 2012. Police said the stabbing happened after a fight at the bar. Bellamy later pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and was sentenced to three years in prison that was suspended for three years probation.

In May 2012, police charged Quentin Smith, 29, after they say he shot at a home on Grainger Drive off S.C. 378. One victim was shot in the leg in the incident.

Smith later pleaded guilty to discharging a weapon into a dwelling and first-degree assault and battery. He was sentenced to a year and a half in prison with credit for time served.

Other suspects

Here is a complete list of people charged in the most recent bust and some of the most notable charges in their Horry County criminal histories:

Shackeel Coleman, 29, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Coleman faces a potential penalty of 10 years to life.

His criminal history includes an arrest for murder. He was arrested in early last year with more than six kilograms of cocaine, North Carolina police say.

Kimo Felton, 41, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Felton faces a potential penalty of 10 years to life.

His criminal history is mostly lower court charges, in 2008 he was charged with loitering for the purpose of drug trafficking in Myrtle Beach and paid $257 in costs and fees.

Harry Bellamy, 41, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 28 grams of cocaine base, and a quantity of marijuana. Bellamy faces a potential penalty of 10 years to life.

Bellamy was once charged in connection to a stabbing at a Socastee bar.

Steven Jeffcoat, 30, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 28 grams of cocaine base. Jeffcoat faces a potential penalty of 10 years to life.

Jeffcoat has several charges in the past including in 2017 for possession of cocaine. That charge was later dropped.

Lenard Hemingway, 53, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Hemingway faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Hemingway charged with trafficking cocaine by Horry County police in September.

Yenitza Coleman, 27, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Coleman faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Coleman has only traffic tickets in Horry County, but was arrested in North Carolina earlier this year with Shackeel Coleman.

Jasamine Mitchell, 32, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Mitchell faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Mitchell has both lower and felony charges in the past including grand larceny between $2,000 and $10,000 and second-offense possession of marijuana or hash in 2012. Mitchell pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 month probation.

Timothy McCray, 31, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine. McCray faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

McCray pleaded guilty to unlawful carrying of a pistol in 2009 and was sentenced to one year in jail.

Henry Boyd, 39, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine. Boyd faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Boyd was once sentenced to 100 days in jail after being charged with failure to stop for blue lights in 2013. He was also charged with possession with intent to distribute, but that charge was dropped.

Timothy Lee, 27, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. Lee faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

It doesn't appear a 27-year-old Timothy Lee has faced significant charges in Horry County.

Jacqueline Strickland, 59, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Strickland faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

In 2007, Strickland pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine base and was sentenced to 14 days time served.

Venson Strickland, 29, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine. Strickland faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Strickland had his 2013 charge of second-offense possession of cocaine and his 2012 charge of first-degree burglary dropped by state prosecutors.

James Graham, 30, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine. Graham faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

It doesn't appear a 30-year-old James Graham has faced significant charges in Horry County.

Alonzo Lee Pierce, 37, of Galivants Ferry, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine. Pierce faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Pierce has both minor and felony charges in his past including in 2015 when he was charged with second-offense possession of less than a gram of cocaine. That charge was dropped. He was charged in October by Aynor police for a window tinting violation.

Gary Jackson, 30, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Jackson faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

Jackson was once charged with murder in connection to a shooting at Koyote Saloon in 2018.

Alton Brown, 41, of Florence, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of cocaine base. Brown faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

Brown's only Horry County charges were minor violations.

Joshua Darby, 32, of Murrells Inlet, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of cocaine base. Darby faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

In 2018, Darby pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but it was suspended for four years probation.

Travis Rogers, 40, of Conway was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. Rogers faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

In the early 2000s, Rogers was charged with accessory to a felony and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also convicted of receiving stolen goods and unlawful carrying of a pistol.

Kevin Linnen, 33, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine. Linnen faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

Linnen was charged with possession with intent to distribute MDMA in 2017, a charge that was later dropped.

Mario Williams, 41, of Florence, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana. Williams faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

It doesn't appear a 41-year-old James Graham has faced significant charges in Horry County.

Robert Hooker, 40, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine. Hooker faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

In December 2019, police charged Hooker with possession of drugs. He released on $20,000 bond and the case remains active.

Bradley Adams, 26, of Myrtle Beach, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Adams faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

In September, police charged Adams with trafficking between 200 to 400 grams of cocaine. He was freed on $15,000 bail.

Brandon Prawl, 35, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base. Prawl faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years.

In 2020, Prawl was charged with second-offense trafficking cocaine 10 to 28 grams and freed on $3,000 bond.

Quentin Smith, 29, of Conway, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. Adams faces a potential penalty of five to 40 years. He is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which carries a potential penalty of five additional years in prison.

Smith pleaded guilty to discharging a gun into a swelling and first-degree assault and battery in 2012 and sentenced to 569 days in prison.

Curtis McArthur, 35, of Longs, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine. McArthur faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

In 2007, Horry County police charged McArthur with unlawful carrying of a pistol. That charge was later dismissed.

Ernest Smalls Jr., 38, of Little River, was mostly recently charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine. Smalls Jr. faces a potential penalty of five to 20 years.

Police charged Smalls Jr. with resisting arrest, DUI and other counts in February 2020 and he was released on $4,000 bail.

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