Sheriff details drug, weapons bust

Published: Nov. 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM EST
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BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - It took a SWAT team and dozens of deputies from two counties to take down a group of suspected Lee County drug dealers.

Thursday, deputies searched two units at the Peppertree Apartment complex. Inside one, investigators found two assault weapons: an assault 12-gauge shotgun and a pistol-style AR-15.

"This is one that we're glad to get back off the street," said Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon as he clutched the assault rifle. Both weapons, Simon says, could pass through any bulletproof vest.

The case started in August when Lee County put undercover agents out to buy drugs around the apartment complex. Buying wasn't a problem, but what those undercover agents found was a bigger problem.

"Every time we made purchases, undercover agents always talked about guns," said Simon, "Talked about a long gun and assault weapons, so at that point, we knew that we was dealing with some dangerous weapons."

The complex and Shawn Hickman were the center of the enterprise according to Simon. Deputies took it down Thursday.

While inside, Simon says four people were smoking weed in an apartment right below, then walked out to see what was going on. Deputies arrested them, too, and found marijuana inside that was ready for sale.

This all went down within feet of Bishopville Elementary.

"Who's next? If you're selling drugs, we're coming to your community," declared Simon. "We're not going to discriminate which community. If you're selling drugs, it's going to be a new day for you."

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