DUNCAN, S.C. (WSPA) – Two Upstate police departments are working together to get drugs out of the community. The Duncan and Wellford Police Departments partnered up over the weekend to take methamphetamines and fentanyl off the street.
What started off as a traffic violation in Wellford ended in two arrests in Duncan on April 30.
“An officer in Wellford observed a vehicle traveling with a license plate that did not belong to that vehicle. It was actually a hand-written tag,” said Duncan Police Chief Shandrell Holcombe.
Holcombe said the state doesn’t issue handwritten tags anymore. He said the car went from Wellford into Duncan, and both agencies were there when the car was pulled over.
“During that time, it was learned that the suspects inside the vehicle were patted down for weapons and during that pat down, they observed things in their pockets,” he said.
Holcombe said the two people in the car, Tonya Strickland and James Hopkins, were separated. It was learned they had 2 grams of meth and 15 grams of fentanyl.
“15 grams of fentanyl may not seem like a lot to a lot of people, but to those of us that know, it is a lot, and it is a deadly amount,” he said.
This teamwork is what police agencies call buddying-up together.
“We have agreements where we work together, where if the town of Lyman, or the town of Duncan, or Wellford, if they’re coming together and we’re one jurisdiction ends and one jurisdiction starts, we generally will work together to keep each town safe,” said Chief Holcombe.
Holcombe said they usually work with their neighboring counties.
“As long as we work together, it puts us on a team together and we can help fight crime together,” he said.
Both people were cooperative, and Holcombe said they will not tolerate drugs. Linking all the departments is the key, he added.
“That’s the only way we’re going to stop this, we have to work together, and we have to work very hard,” he said.
Holcombe said the suspects are facing possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, and other charges.
The Duncan Police Department asks the community to keep their eyes open for anything suspicious, and to always call them with any tips, because it could end up saving a life.