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Rock Hill Man Receives 16-Year Federal Sentence for Involvement in Major Drug Conspiracy

Large Scale Drug Bust

A Rock Hill Man’s Drug Conspiracy Lands Him a 16-year Sentence in Federal Prison

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A major step was taken in the fight against illicit drug trafficking in South Carolina this Monday when a Rock Hill resident, Archie Arsenio Caldwell, 35, was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison by United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis. Caldwell had pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and marijuana; distributing crack cocaine; and money laundering.

Origins of the Case

The case reached its conclusion after an in-depth investigation led by the FBI Columbia Field Office in partnership with the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit. According to the evidence presented in court, the investigation targeted a group obtaining large quantities of illegal substances from a distributor in Southern California and delivering them to the Rock Hill and Charlotte area.

Through comprehensive surveillance and law enforcement techniques, the authorities identified Caldwell as a member of the group. He was found guilty of assisting other members in securing flights to California for the procurement of drugs and arranging the shipping of said substances back to South Carolina.

Unraveling the Conspiracy

Once the drugs were shipped back to South Carolina, Caldwell’s group divided the substances for distribution to local dealers. They later evolved their operation to incorporate fentanyl, which they used to produce and distribute fentanyl-laced pills sold to users across multiple locations including Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and Atlanta.

A total of 255 illicit packages were shipped from California according to the law enforcement’s investigation, and Caldwell was personally linked to 37 grams of crack cocaine, six kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of cocaine, seven kilograms of fentanyl, and eight kilograms of marijuana.

Consequences for the Accused

Nineteen defendants were initially charged with participating in the drug trafficking operation in South Carolina. Seventeen, including Caldwell, pled guilty to their involvement, and three were convicted at trial. Caldwell is now facing 200 months’ imprisonment, followed by a decade of court-ordered supervision. It is important to note that there is no parole in the federal system.

A Success Story for Law Enforcement

This case marks a significant achievement for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), which endeavors to identify, disrupt, and dismantle high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations.

Alongside FBI Columbia Field Office and York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, several other authorities, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department had crucial roles in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney William K. Witherspoon prosecuted the case.

HERE Rock Hill
Author: HERE Rock Hill

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