Nine arrested, three wanted in Bethune drug bust

Published: Apr. 3, 2015 at 3:14 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2015 at 3:14 AM EDT
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BETHUNE, SC (WIS) - The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office is still searching for three more people after a major drug bust, all happening in and around the small town of Bethune.

So far, nine have been arrested, the sheriff says it was a hard drug distribution ring to crack.

For Don Witham, it's no secret that drug dealers have made their mark in the small town of Bethune.

"Drug dealers have a negative effect on the town," Witham said. "You have constituents complaining about things going on late at night, noise, and parties."

But, after a major bust on Wednesday Bethune is on the upswing.

"Our local policemen, in connection with the sheriff's office, have been making efforts to clean it up. I think it will have a significant impact. I'm hoping if there's others left they may start looking for other ground that's not here," Witham said.

But Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews isn't downplaying the importance of his latest case that's been months in the making.

"There's generally an immediate change. How long lasting it is, I don't know. There's always some idiot that'll take the place of the idiot that we locked up," Matthews said.

Nine have been arrested most for serious drug charges. Distribution of crack cocaine and other charges for Joseph Micol, Kenshon Hough, and Brandon Williams. Distribution of controlled substance charges for Edgar Egbert and Amanda Starnes both also charged with selling near a park. A distribution of marijuana charge for Kojuana Williams. Multiple counts of distribution of crack for 51-year-old Jimmy Bracey.

"The main guy we wanted to get was this guy Bracey, because he was the big dog up there for a long, long time," Matthews said.

Matthews says the circle was tight, but an undercover SLED agent was able to buy crack, marijuana, and prescription pills from the dealers in locations across Bethune, starting back in November.

"This was done properly. I think everything is videotaped and audio taped. The last nail was hammered into the coffins for these guys, so we're happy to get them out of circulation at least until they get released on bond, which they will," Matthews said.

Matthews says some of the suspects do have criminal histories, and he hopes the bond court judge will take that into consideration.

He says he can't thank the State Law Enforcement Division enough, since it's always willing to help in this case and others.

He also thanks Bethune Police Chief Joseph Cobb who made a simple traffic stop last year, and in doing so, got the ball rolling on this case.

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