Sheriff says man should not have been on the street with his criminal record

Published: Jun. 29, 2016 at 4:55 PM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Kershaw County Sheriff says a Columbia man arrested on drug and gun charges should not have been on the street with his previous record.

Kershaw County deputies arrested Javonta Marquis Wells, 23, in Elgin Monday. Matthews says at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, narcotics officers noticed a vehicle on Smyrna Road "occupied by known narcotics violators."

Deputies pulled the vehicle over and the driver admitted she had marijuana in the vehicle and told deputies she thought another person in the vehicle had drugs. Deputies found heroin and crack cocaine in a bag hidden in the crotch of Wells' pants. Deputies also said Wells had a .45 pistol with an extended magazine holding 20 bullets and a laser sight.

Wells was arrested and charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking crack cocaine, possession of a firearm during a violent crime and unlawful carrying of a firearm.

The driver of the vehicle was issued a ticket for possession of marijuana.

"There is no reason why Wells should be on the street with all of his prior arrests," said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. "He is a convicted felon, now dealing heroin and crack cocaine in Kershaw County and he carries a gun unlawfully."

According to Matthews, Wells' criminal history includes arrests for shoplifting, weapons possession, assault and battery, criminal sexual conduct, giving false information, hit and run, breach of peace, and multiple arrests on drug and vehicular charges.

Bond was set at $135,000 and Wells remains at the Kershaw County Detention Center. Federal agents have been contacted to determine if they will pursue federal gun charges against him.

"Hopefully our existing gun laws will be strictly enforced on this man who is clearly a danger to our community," Matthews said. "Thankfully, the magistrate who set his bond agrees."

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