GREENVILLE, S.C. (WYFF) - A shipment of 22 pounds of marijuana from California was intercepted at two rental homes in Greenville County, according to Bart McEntire, Commander of Greenville County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit.
The investigation began when the DEU and SLED learned about a shipment of marijuana destined for delivery sites in Greenville, McEntire said.
According to McEntire, investigators placed two locations in the Greenville area under surveillance and observed the delivery of two parcels; one to an address in the San Souci section of Greenville County located on Paris Mountain Avenue and the second in the City of Greenville located on Hillcrest Drive.
Authorities believe the two individuals who received the marijuana have received prior shipments of marijuana, McEntire said.
According to McEntire, the drug traffickers arrested would utilize overnight rental homes, rented through Airbnb, to receive the marijuana shipments.
At the location on Paris Mountain Avenue, authorities seized 12 pounds of marijuana and an additional 10 pounds of marijuana were taken into custody at the West Hillcrest location, McEntire said.
According to McEntire, the marijuana seized has a street value of approximately $90,000.
26-year-old Kelby Joshua Darnell McKinney was arrested along with 25-year-old Ana Lashae LeGrand, McEntire said.
“Marijuana and marijuana derivatives are readily encountered by law enforcement in Greenville. Marijuana is imported into Greenville by many methods and routes. The “decriminalization” of marijuana in the western portions of the U.S. has opened pipelines of illegal distribution into the Greenville area. Many of the western U.S. states that decriminalized marijuana have an overabundance and excess of marijuana. Some growers and distributors, along with individuals take advantage of the vulnerabilities in the control mechanisms of the source states, eagerly sell the excess into the black markets. It is not uncommon for law enforcement in the Greenville area to encounter marijuana or THC derivatives seized revealing markings indicating that they were originally sourced from California,” McEntire said.
“Marijuana shipments from California to Greenville have exploded, Sheriff Hobart Lewis added. It is a disturbing trend due to the ease of obtaining marijuana and THC derivatives in California and shipping the drugs to Greenville.” Sheriff Lewis stressed, “What is really alarming are some of the products being seized by the DEU are THC infused products marked similar to candy. A recent example is a seizure by DEU where a large shipment of gummy bears all laced with THC and marked as Trolli gummy bears was intercepted (Trolli is a well-recognized gummy brand loved by children). These types of products fall into the hands of teenagers and can be ingested by children. I fully support the DEU in targeting the shipments of marijuana and THC products coming to Greenville.”
“The owners of the rental homes had no idea their residences were being used as a drug drop location. It is not an uncommon tactic of the drug world to take advantage of unsuspecting home owners to conceal their illicit activity,” McEntire expressed.