WATCH: AG Wilson provides update on “Las Señoritas” drug ring and indictments
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -COLUMBIA, S.C.) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced indictments into a drug trafficking case known as “Las Señoritas.”
Wilson said the case contains 170 charges against 43 defendants. The investigation is called “Las Señoritas” because several of the main investigative targets are women alleged to have fled to Mexico to escape prosecution in the United States.
Wilson said Chelsie Marie Anderson, Jennifer Nicole Burns, and Amy Deanna Cobb a/k/a Emma left the country between 2018 to 2020. Defendant Kelli Edwards is alleged to have left in late 2022. Michael Pardi is alleged to have left the country in Dec. 2022. Wilson said they are all allegedly living with Jalisco New Generation Cartel members and are directly sourcing drugs.
Wilson said the women called “Señoritas” in the case coordinated with inmates in the SCDC with contraband cell phones. The phones allegedly were used to help bring drugs, many of which are methamphetamine to the Upstate.
The alleged co-conspirators would drive to Atlanta or other locations to pick up drugs to bring them back to SC for distribution. Investigators said between Feb. 1, 2021, and Dec. 14, 2022, over 25 kilograms of methamphetamines and 30 firearms were seized in the investigation. The drugs are valued at approximately $800,000.
Wilson said the brothers Darrell Foster McCoy Jr and Matthew David McCoy have been incarcerated at SCDC since 2015 and have been involved in trafficking since 2011. Wilson said they have been involved in trafficking through the use of contraband cell phones. SC notified both men it intends to seek a life sentence without eligibility for parole.
Wilson said on Jan. 3, 2023 SLED and local law enforcement agencies began arrests in the investigation. The primary focus of the investigation looked at operations in Pickens, Greenville, Laurens, Anderson, and Oconee Counties.
Wilson said the FCC passed a rule to allow state prisons to identify contraband cell phones and require carriers to turn off the signals. Wilson urged Congress to pass the Cellphone Jamming Reform Act which would allow state prison systems to jam cellphone signals.
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