Orangeburg County man with stolen pistol, bulletproof vest charged with intent to sell drugs near middle school

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - A man wearing a bulletproof vest was arrested for multiple drug charges and weapon possession charges Wednesday night near Jamison Avenue.

According to the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office, Risheen Israel Pender was sitting inside his vehicle in a vacant lot when officers patrolling the area approached the vehicle to determine if that vehicle was authorized to be there.

Officers reportedly saw a bag of narcotics stuffed inside the driver's side door, which led to a search of Pender's vehicle. The search yielded various illegal narcotics and a stolen handgun that was reported missing in 2016 in addition to the bulletproof vest worn by Pender.

"My officers patrolling Wednesday evening noticed a suspicious vehicle on private property," Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. "When they investigated, they discovered an individual with a weapon, what turned out to be a wide variety of drugs, cash, scales, and he was wearing a bulletproof vest."

Pender, 39, is facing charges of possession with intent to distribute for marijuana, Xanax, ecstasy, "molly," and cocaine with matching charges for intent to distribute near a school. Pender is also facing charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a stolen pistol.

The nearby school was Robert E. Howard Middle School in Orangeburg.

"Dealing drugs is a dangerous business that can take your life," Ravenell said. "But you can also wind up in prison for life, which is almost the same thing. This makes 17 warrants we've issued in that area in the past week, but if we have to seek 1,700 for that area, we're going to keep on until we wipe out illegal drugs."

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