Sheriff says man arrested in drug bust was danger to community

Published: Apr. 26, 2014 at 2:21 AM EDT|Updated: May. 5, 2014 at 5:56 PM EDT
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Dwight Johnson (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff)
Dwight Johnson (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff)
Pamela Thitchener (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff)
Pamela Thitchener (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff)

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A couple arrested on drug charges in Kershaw County were out on bond for similar charges at the time of their arrest, says the sheriff.

Deputies arrested 47-year-old Dwight Johnson and 48-year-old Pamela Thitchener on April 16 after receiving tips about a drug dealer named "Dwight" who lived in Kershaw County.

Deputies say they seized 125 bags of heroin packaged for sale, more than 170 synthetic drugs, and a half-pound of marijuana from the home on Kennedy Road in Lugoff where Johnson and Thitchener were arrested. Investigators say they also found a pistol in the home.

"It's kind of shocking, because it's so close to home," said neighbor Jimmy Peake."We kind of figured something was going on, you know, because they was in and out up and down the road. I'm glad to see it broken up. If I had known about it, I would have probably broke it up myself, because I despise a drug dealer."

Kerhsaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said deputies started surveillance on several areas where Johnson had reportedly operated. Eventually deputies searched the cars of several people they had seen leaving Johnson's home and found heroin and marijuana in the vehicles.

Matthews says Johnson is a convicted felon "with numerous narcotics arrests and convictions."

"I would say in the past year and a half or two years, we've had two people die from heroin overdoses, which kind of alerted us that there was a problem," Matthews said. "You quickly become dysfunctional, you can't work, you start breaking into people's houses, businesses, and cars stealing stuff."

Johnson and Thitchener are charged with trafficking heroin, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Johnson is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Matthews said Johnson was out on bond for a cocaine trafficking charge in North Charleston. He is awaiting a bond hearing in the Kershaw County Detention Center. Thitchener is out on bond.

"Getting Dwight Johnson off the street should impact the availability of heroin in our county," said Matthews. "Since Johnson obviously ignores the requirements of his bond, it is our hope that the judge who sets his bond will either deny bond or set one too high for him to make. He is definitely a danger to our community. We had just added a deputy to the narcotics squad, and he said if we wouldn't have had that extra person, we wouldn't have made this case."

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