SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Two car chases and an undercover drug investigation led to the arrests of three people and the hospitalization of one of the suspects in Sumter County.
On Wednesday, investigators from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office received a tip that led them to believe three suspects, all traveling in different cars, were on their way into the country trafficking illegal drugs.
Once deputies located the vehicles, they attempted to make traffic stops for each vehicle. During two of the attempted stops, the suspects refused to stop for law enforcement and led deputies on high-speed chases. Both chases ended with the suspects' vehicles crashing into buildings.
One of the vehicles was driven by Ante Witherspoon. The 28-year-old Sumter resident refused to acknowledge deputies' orders to stop before leading officers on a high-speed chase throughout Sumter and crashing his vehicle into a business on Broad Street in downtown Sumter.
During the pursuit, Witherspoon was seen throwing a package out of his vehicle. Law enforcement recovered the package and found an estimated 125 grams of suspected cocaine, with an estimated street value of $12,500.
Witherspoon, who was charged with his third offense of trafficking cocaine and failure to stop for blue lights, sustained significant but non-life-threatening injuries in the crash and was transported EMS to Tuomey Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Shortly afterward, investigators located another suspected vehicle driven by 23-year-old Rembert resident Tavares McFadden, in the Cherryvale area of Sumter County.
McFadden also refused to stop for deputies, leading officers on an approximate four-mile high-speed chase which ended when McFadden crashed his vehicle into a home in the Oak Lawn Mobile Home Park on Dorsey Drive.
After searching the McFadden's vehicle, deputies recovered approximately 454 grams of suspected marijuana with a street value of $4,450. Deputies also found approximately one gram of suspected crack cocaine, with an estimated street value of $100.
McFadden was treated by emergency responders at the scene and was released into the custody of law enforcement. He has been charged with his second offense of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to stop for blue lights, and his third offense of driving under suspension.
Dartanya Harris, 22, complied with deputies' blue lights when they located his vehicle on Christine Drive. During a search of his vehicle, officers seized approximately 10 grams of suspected crack cocaine with an estimated $2,000 street value. Harris has been charged with trafficking crack cocaine.
Both Harris and McFadden were transported to the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center to await bond hearings. Witherspoon remains hospitalized for treatment for his injuries sustained in his crash.
Between the three incidents, deputies also seized more than $2,500 in cash.
Authorities say the investigation involving these suspects is ongoing and more charges and arrests could take place.