RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Three people are facing a slew of charges following a four-month investigation into a burglary ring in several Midlands communities.
An investigation of a February 2017 burglary led investigators down the long path of uncovering the ring.
Community tips connected with that burglary helped investigators identify 24-year-old Michael Smalls as a suspect. During a search warrant of Smalls' residence, investigators located approximately 18 small bags of cocaine and several of the following stolen items: handguns, laptops, iPads, cell phones, and game consoles, deputies said.
Smalls was arrested on April 21, 2017 during a search warrant at his residence on Southern Drive.
Smalls was eventually charged with seven counts of burglary, six counts of larceny, three counts of possession of a stolen weapon, two counts of receiving stolen goods, one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine within a half mile of a school.
Investigators linked the stolen items to six additional burglaries throughout Richland County, Kershaw County, Irmo, and the City of Columbia and then connected two more men, 18-year-old Jamel Burgess and 19-year-old Thaddeus Peterson, to Smalls, deputies said.
Arrest warrants were served on Burgess in May 2017 who was already in custody in Calhoun County on unrelated charges. He is charged with three counts of burglary and two counts of grand larceny.
Peterson was arrested at his residence on Levity Street on Sunday, June 25, 2017. He is charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand larceny.
All three suspects face additional charges with the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department and the Irmo Police Department. They have been transported to the Alvin S Glenn Detention Center.