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Tag: South Carolina

White Restaurant Owner Who Enslaved a Disabled Black Man Gets 10 Years in Prison

Bobby Paul Edwards

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A white restaurant manager who forced a disabled black man to work more than 100 hours a week without pay has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Bobby Paul Edwards, 54, beat, burned and hurled racist slurs at John Christopher Smith to make him work harder at a small diner in Conway, South Carolina, the Justice Department said.

“This abusive enslavement of a vulnerable person is shocking,” Jody Norris, FBI special agent in charge of the Columbia Division, said in a statement. “The FBI is always vigilantly searching for these offenses and stands ready to bring perpetrators to justice and help victims reclaim their lives. We understand human trafficking takes many forms and we encourage anyone with information related to these crimes to contact the FBI.”

Edwards used his belt, fists, pots and pans to beat Smith, federal prosecutors said. In one instance, Edwards burned Smith’s neck with metal tongs dipped in hot grease.

The abuse occurred between 2009 and 2014, when Edwards was the manager. State authorities rescued Smith after receiving a tip about the abuse.

The FBI led the investigation.

Edwards pleaded guilty to forced labor on June 4.

“It is almost inconceivable that instances of forced labor endure in this country to this day – a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said. “The Department of Justice will continue to investigate, prosecute, and convict human traffickers involved in forced labor, seeking justice on behalf of their victims.”

South Carolina Officers Thought They Were Protecting Drug Traffickers. It Was an FBI Sting

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three South Carolina law enforcement officers who accepted money in exchange for protecting what they thought were drug traffickers have pleaded guilty.

Turns out, the Mexican drug-trafficking cartel was actually a group of undercover FBI agents.

A former Springfield officer and two Orangeburg County deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges connected to the sting, The State reports.

The law enforcement officials believed they were guarding cartel trucks full of cash and drugs that were traveling south on Interstate 26 through Orangeburg County.

They were indicted in March.

Four other officers have pending cases.

The FBI used wiretaps and covert videos showing the officers agreed to “guard” the trucks.

White S.C. Man Tried to Hire Hitman to Hang Black Neighbor, Burn Cross in Yard

Brandon Cory Lecroy

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A white South Carolina man wanted to hire someone to kill and hang his black neighbor and then place a “flaming cross” in his yard.

Little did he know, the man he tried to hire turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, according tot he U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Slate reports that Brandon Cory Lecroy, 25, was  charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities int he commission of murder-for-hire.

Police said the Greenwood County man found the undercover agent through a white supremacist group and offered $500 for the murder.

Lecroy told the agent he wanted “hang his neighbor from a tree” and have a “burning cross” staked in the front yard. Authorities said Lecroy even advised the agent of the best time to murder his neighbor and offered money for future murders.

Lecroy, who was arrested after he provided a $100 down payment to murder his neighbor, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Americn in Custody Again After Threatening to Join ISIS, Kill an American

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 18-year-old South Carolina man who was accused of hatching a plan to kill soldiers as revenge for American military action in the Middle East was granted early release last May.

Now Zakaryia Abdin is back in custody after a grand jury indicted him Tuesday on a charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization, the Associated Press reports. 

This time he is accused of telling an undercover agent, whom he thought was an Islamic State recruiter, that he wanted to join the terrorist organization and torture an American on video.

Authorities arrested Abdin as he tried to board a plane to Jordan last week.

He’s accused of telling an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to be show on video torturing an American hostage because “I want to be the one to send the message because they know who I am.”

Dylann Roof’s Friend to Be Sentenced to 27-33 Months for Lying to FBI

Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A week before Dylann Roof killed nine people at a historically black church in South Carolina, he shared his plans with a friend as they drank vodka and snorted cocaine about a week earlier.

Now his friend, Joey Meek, is expected to be sentenced today to 27 to 33 months in prison for lying to the FBI, the New York Post reports.

Authorities say Meek lied to the FBI about the plot and even encouraged friends not to alert authorities about it.

Roof was sentenced to death for the June 2015 shooting.

Roof, an admitted racist, shot people inside an Emanuel AME church.

FBI: White Supremacist Planned Violent Attack ‘in Spirit of Dylann Roof’

Benjamin McDowell

Benjamin McDowell

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A South Carolina man who was a known white supremacist planned to carry out a violent attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof,” the FBI wrote in a complaint Thursday.

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, caught the attention of the FBI after a series of Facebook posts in which he made threats and declared violent white supremacist ideologies, NBC News reports. 

McDowell was arrested after meting with an undercover FBI agent to purchase a gun in the parking lot of a Myrtle Beach hotel. He was charged with possessing a firearm because of his preexisting status as a felon.

On Facebook, McDowell unleashed rants about Jews.

McDowell told the undercover agent that more needed to be done because “screaming ‘white power’ was not getting the job done,” according to the FBI complaint.

“I seen what Dylann Roof did and in my heart I reckon I got a little bit of hatred … I want to do that sh*t,” McDowell allegedly told the agent.

TSA Discovers Hidden Sword Inside a Cane Used by 80-Year-Old Woman

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 80-year-old woman was surprised when she learned that her walking cane contained a hidden sword that was discovered by security at a South Carolina airport, the TSA said.

The woman relinquished her cane after security found a hidden blade nearly the length of the cane at the Myrtle Beach International Airport., the Sun News reports. 

“She had no clue it was in there,” TSA spokesman Mark Howell said.

The woman said she received the cane from her son.

The TSA said it’s not uncommon for people to buy items at thrift stores without knowing that a weapon is stored inside.

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Seeks Death Penalty for Church Shooter Dylan Roof

Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for Dylan Roof, the man accused of a carefully planned shooting that killed nine parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Tuesday. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

The Washington Post reports that federal prosecutors explained why they were pursuing the death sentence, describing the shooting as racially motivated.

Roof “demonstrated a lack of remorse” and targeted a Bible study group to “magnify the societal impact” of the massacre.

Other Stories of Interest