Guns and drugs seized in Loris area

Authorities seized drugs and guns and netted four arrests after search warrants were executed this past week in the Loris area, according to a news release from the Horry County Police Department.

The HCPD’s Narcotics and Vice Unit executed search warrants in the 1300 block of Cedar Branch Road after the U.S. Marshals Carolinas Regional Fugitives Task Force went to apprehend a wanted person. Agents saw guns and drugs in plain view, the release said.

Alfredo Gore, 41, of Loriswas charged with trafficking heroin, distribution of cocaine, distribution of cocaine base and possession of a weapon during a violent offense. He also faces a domestic violence charge that he was previously wanted for.

Ja’Mari Francois, 21, was charged with trafficking heroin, distribution of cocaine base and possession of a weapon during a violent offense.

Tyruss Kendriz Hemingway, 18, of Loris was charged with trafficking heroin, distribution of cocaine base and possession of a weapon during a violent offense.

Police charged 28-year-old Eric Rashad Squires of Loris with attempted murder; he had been wanted on that charge.

Authorities seized 3.6 ounces of heroin, 14.8 grams of cocaine, 11.1 grams of crack cocaine, 1.5 pounds of marijuana and eight guns.

Myrtle Beach man sentenced to life in prison

A Myrtle Beach man was convicted this past week of assaulting a 5-year-old girl and sentenced to serve the rest of his natural life in prison.

An Horry County jury convicted Donald Frank Halstead, 34, on first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor following a two-day trial, said Leigh Andrew, the assistant solicitor who along with Mary-Ellen Walter, a senior assistant solicitor, prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Circuit Judge D. Craig Brown presided over the trial and gave Halstead the maximum sentence of life in prison. Halstead will not be eligible for parole and will serve every day of his sentence.

Halstead was a family friend of the victim and sexually assaulted her when she was 5-years-old, Andrew said. Prosecutors and the victim asked for the maximum sentence because of the age of the victim and the fact that Halstead was already on the sex offender registry from a 2012 conviction involving three young girls.

“I ask for the maximum punishment where I know I’ll be safe and he can’t hurt anyone else,” the victim said to Judge Brown before he sentenced Halstead.

Andrew commended the victim for her bravery during the proceedings.

“The victim, while still quite young, showed amazing courage and strength while facing her attacker during trial,” Andrew said. “We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of Horry County Police Detective Blake Klauder in helping to achieve justice in this case.”

Aynorites killed in wreck

A grandmother and her granddaughter have been identified as the individuals who died Friday in an Aynor area wreck.

Glenda Smith, 62, and 17-year-old Jada Carter were killed in the crash, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden. The grandmother and granddaughter both lived in the Aynor area.

Cpl. Sonny Collins of the S.C. Highway Patrol said the crash happened around 3 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Valley Forge and Louisville roads.

A 2008 Chevrolet HHR that was traveling on Louisville Road disregarded a stop sign at the intersection and was struck by a 2013 GMC Yukon that was traveling on Valley Forge Road.

The two occupants of the Chevrolet were killed.

The three people who were in the GMC were taken to the hospital, but their injuries were not believed to be serious, authorities said.

Shooting victim

Horry County police were called to Conway Medical Center Sunday at about 8:30 p.m. where a man told them someone had tried to rob him and had shot him while he was in a yard on Willow Road in the Conway area, according to an Horry County police report.

Police continued to investigate on Willow Road and at the hospital. The victim’s clothes were taken as evidence.

Halloween shenanigans?

A resident of Beaver Creek Court told police that his roommates awakened him at about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 1 to tell him that someone had egged his vehicle and covered it with toilet paper, according to an Horry County police report.

The Horry County police report says the victim went outside, but didn’t see anyone near the vehicle and couldn’t find anyone who saw what happened.

When police arrived the man had already washed his vehicle so the policeman didn’t see any signs of vandalism, but he did see eggshells and toilet paper on the ground.

The victim told the policeman that there is a camera near the site where the incident happened and he hoped to get a video of the incident.

Guns found

An Horry County police officer responding to a call about a fight at 810 Billiards & Bowling on U.S. 501 at about 1 a.m. this past Thursday found a vehicle trying to speed away, according to an Horry County police report.

The policeman says he stopped the car and found its driver shirtless and sweating heavily. While asking why the young Sumter man was driving so fast, the policeman reported seeing a handgun in the pocket of the passenger’s seat. One young Sumter man said he didn’t want to talk about the gun and a second Sumter man said he didn’t know anything about it.

They were both taken to jail on charges of unlawful carry of a firearm.

Horry County man charged with child pornography

Kevin Eric Heins, 19, of Myrtle Beach has been charged with 22 counts connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor, according to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office.

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) that led them to Heins. Investigators said Heins distributed and possessed files of child pornography.

Heins was arrested Oct. 30. He is charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree, a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment; and seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree, a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office.

Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

Taking a joy ride?

Conway police were called to Ray Lane at about 8 p.m. on a recent night to investigate a report of a stolen television, according to a Conway police report.

Before the policeman got to the site he learned that a suspect had also stolen a taxicab.

The report says after the man took the television from a wall, he went outside, pushed the cab driver aside, jumped in, put the television in the back and drove away.

The vehicle was listed in a national crime computer.

Police charged the Myrtle Beach suspect with trespassing, third-degree assault and battery, petty larceny and grand larceny of a vehicle.

He won’t stop

Conway police picked up a fleeing driver being followed by Myrtle Beach police, who thought the driver might have been involved in a Myrtle Beach shooting, according to a Conway police report.

A Conway policeman picked up the chase on U.S. 501 after it came into the city at the intersection of US. 501 and U.S. 378. An officer tried to make a stop at Church and Bell streets, but the driver refused to stop. The vehicle changed to the right lane and appeared to be stopping, but made a quick right onto Forest View, then went on to Pine Street, Tenth Avenue, Elm Street and Ninth Avenue. The driver ran the stoplight at Ninth Avenue and Church Street and then headed on to Durant Street, Hemingway Street and Singleton Street where he lost control of his vehicle and ran into fence that wrecked his car. He got out and ran into the woods behind a Singleton Street residence.

Vehicle crimes

■ Someone took a $3,000 trailer from a residence at highways 471 and 19, according to an Horry County police report.

The report says the suspect had to have removed a lock to take the trailer. By looking at the trailer’s tracks, the policeman determined that the suspect turned right onto Highway 19 and headed north.

The policeman planned to enter the trailer in a national crime computer.

■ After spotting a car with an expired registration at U.S. 501 and University Boulevard, an Horry County policeman tried to stop the driver.

At first, he said, the man didn’t look like he might flee, but shortly after that he turned onto Carolina Road and began to accelerate, according to the Horry County police report.

He continued to Barberry Drive without stopping at stop signs. When he reached the cul-de-sac on Barberry Drive, he opened the door, got out and left the car rolling.

The vehicle rolled into a wooded area as the driver ran toward Coastal Villas on S.C. 544.

The policeman then saw a young Conway man trying to get out of a rear door.

He told the policeman he had been riding in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

Because the vehicle had been in a collision, the S.C. Highway Patrol came to investigate and a collision report was made.

Before the car was towed, the policeman inventoried the items in the car and found two 9mm handguns in the glove box, along with a green leafy substance. Police learned that one of the guns had been reported stolen.

The young man was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and possession of marijuana.

The suspect said he didn’t know the driver and he didn’t want medical attention.

■ A young Conway man says he left his car in the parking lot of the Speedway on U.S. 378 with the doors unlocked and motor running, according to a Conway police report.

While he was inside, someone jumped into the car and drove off.

Police later got a call from an Horry County policeman who had found the car outside of the Conway jurisdiction.

The police report values the car at more than $10,000. Missing from the car was a $300 handgun and $700 Iphone XR.

Police listed no suspects when the report was written.

Improper behavior

A Conway man was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor after a 17-year-old Conway High School student told Horry County police that he twice sent her indecent pictures of himself.

The girl told police that back in September the suspect questioned her about her sex life, if she had one.

She also said the suspect makes her feel uncomfortable and twice had sent her inappropriate pictures of himself on her phone.

The report says while police were speaking with the girl she burst into tears and asked for her mother. The cop explained to her that she did not need to feel ashamed, but she continued to cry as she moved into a fetal position.

The girl told police she went to sleep. Later when she went through her phone she saw some of the pictures.

The mother told police that she had no idea and tried to protect the teen. She hugged the girl and apologized to her, according to the police report.

When police met with the suspect he admitted that what he did was wrong. The report says he was well aware that the girl was under 18.

The policeman took the girl’s and the suspect’s cellphones for evidence.

The suspect was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor and taken to J. Reuben Long Detention Center. He was released the next day on a $5,000 bond.

Alcohol/drug incidents

■ Conway police were called to Coastal Club Apartments on S.C. 544 to check on a fight that supposedly involved 10 to 15 people; however, when police arrived they did not find a fight.

As officers were leaving a young man, who smelled of marijuana, walked past them carrying a book bag and multiple duffle bags. Police checked a bag he was carrying and found a total of 194 grams of marijuana, according to the Conway police report.

The suspect also had 11 synthetic vape pins, two homemade edible marijuana treats, two boxes of plastic bags, two digital scales, bullets and a Glock 40. The report says the man does not have a permit to carry a gun.

The edible treats and vape liquid came to 80.2 grams.

Police planned to seek warrants for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, possession with intent to distribute in close proximity to a school (Coastal Carolina University) and unlawful carry, according to the police report.

■ A young man was taken to Conway Medical Center by emergency medical workers after being found in the Aynor area, according to a Conway police report.

A doctor told police that the young man had been given three doses of Narcan and had been defibrillated and intubated. He said they planned to monitor the victim for the next 24 to 48 hours.

The police report says hospital staff found a small bag with a white powdery substance residue.

■ A young Virginia man drew a call to Conway police after he was seen wandering around Monarch Apartments at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, according to a Conway police report.

When police arrived the apartment’s security staff was holding the young man.

Police say the man smelled of alcohol and was having trouble standing.

He told police he was not a student and was staying in a Myrtle Beach hotel.

He called an Uber, but took his keys out as if he intended to drive, so the policeman detained him, the police report says.

A girl told police that she didn’t know the man, but he wandered to her apartment and she thought he was intoxicated.

He was charged with public intoxication before police found a small bag holding a white powder that the policeman thought was cocaine. The police report says the powder weighed .91 grams. He was also charged with possession of cocaine.

■ A Little River man was charged with driving under the influence after Conway police got a report of a reckless driver who might be intoxicated who was trying to hit pedestrians on Busbee Street Saturday at about 10 p.m., according to a Conway police report.

Police say when they stopped the man they noticed that his eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol.

The Conway police report says he told the policeman that he had drunk six or seven beers and had drunk too much to be driving.

The report also says the man’s truck had the wrong tag on it.

He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken in for a breath test. He blew .13 and was charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration.

He was also charged with driving under suspension.

■ Conway police were called to McDonalds on Church Street Sunday at shortly after midnight to check on a man in the drive thru lane sleeping with his foot on the brake and his vehicle in “drive”, according to a Conway police report.

A policeman says he yelled at the man several times to cut his music down before he responded. When he did respond police say he was lethargic.

He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and refused a breath test. He was taken to jail and charged with driving under the influence, second offense.

■ When police went to check on a noise complaint they found multiple kids hanging around a brown Jeep, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman says when he opened the door he smelled marijuana.

When the policeman told a teen to step out of the car, he refused. A second teen then tried to take the key out of the car, but the policeman told him to leave it alone.

Police already had two more teens detained when a female teen was summoned. The Conway police report says the girl started to step away.

Still another teen was told to step away from the vehicle, but he started to sneak around it. The policeman headed toward him, but the teen started to run away even though the officer told him to stop.

The first teen that officers spoke with started to run away, but a policeman caught him on Farmwood Circle.

Police then found a bag that they believed the teen had thrown down as he ran.

Police called for the department’s K9 who alerted on the Jeep.

The Conway police report says there were 45.1 grams of marijuana in the bag.

A 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were issued juvenile summons and were released to their guardians.

About 40 minutes later in a nearby residence, police went to check on a girl who had run inside.

A resident told police the girl was in a back hallway. When she came out, police say the girl smelled of marijuana. They found a backpack in the girl’s bedroom that held 142 grams of what police believed was marijuana.

Also under the mattress, police found a .38-special. Inside the backpack, police say they found a digital scale and plastic bags.

A teenage girl and slightly older boy were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The male was taken to jail and the girl was issued a juvenile summons and released to a guardian.

■ A Conway policeman on routine patrol on Ridge Street says he spotted a driver whose license he knew was suspended, according to a Conway police report.

When the man stopped at a residence on Ridge Street, the policeman says he smelled alcohol, but the man said he had not been drinking.

The police report says the man was lethargic and was slurring his speech.

The policeman says he checked the car and found an open mini-bottle of Fireball whiskey. The driver refused to try field sobriety tests and refused to give a breath sample.

He was charged with driving under the influence, second offense; driving under suspension, license suspended for DUI, operating an uninsured vehicle, driving a vehicle with an expired registration and open container.

Missing jewelry

A Conway woman told police that she allowed a much younger man to stay at her residence for a little less than two weeks, according to a Conway police report.

When she discovered that he was still using drugs, she asked him to leave and he did, she told police.

About 10 days later, she retrieved her briefcase from under her bed and found that several gold coins and several pieces of jewelry were missing.

She believes her male guest took them.

Although she didn’t remember everything that was taken, she did remember that a gold ring with a ruby, valued at about $300; a diamond solitaire ring, valued at about $1,000; and a gold wedding ring set with marquis-cut diamond and side diamonds with horseshoe-shaped band that fit around the diamond had been there.

She estimated the value of her loss at about $4,350.


I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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