After less than fifteen minutes of deliberations an Anderson County jury convicted Herman Belton, Sr. of Anderson, SC of Trafficking Crack Cocaine, 100-200 grams. 

Belton was arrested May 3, 2006 while riding a bicycle in the city of Anderson. When requested to stop by law enforcement, Belton attempted to ride away on the bicycle and eventually jumped from the bike running into the woods. Belton had in his possession digital scales as well as a crack pipe. 106 grams of crack cocaine was found wrapped in paper towels and foil. 

The Honorable Tommy Cooper sentenced Belton to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. 

“The Anderson City Police Department did an excellent job in investigating this case. We are extremely pleased with the jury’s verdict.” Solicitor Chrissy Adams.

John Michael Ward pled guilty today to Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill, Armed Robbery, and Burglary 1st Degree in Oconee County Generals Sessions Court. The Honorable Alex Macaulay sentenced Ward to 20 years in prison. 

Ward and his co-defendants forced their way into a home in July of this year, beating the occupants and holding one at knifepoint. 

Fernando Montes-Saenz was convicted today in Oconee County General Sessions Court for Trafficking Cocaine in Excess of 400 grams. Circuit Judge Howard King sentenced Montes-Saenz to 30 years, the maximum allowed by SC law.

On February 13, 2006, the defendant was stopped on I-85 in Oconee County for Speeding and Improper Lane Travel. After a brief discussion with the defendant, an officer with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an outer search of the vehicle with a drug dog. The dog alerted on a hidden compartment under the back seat of the Volkswagen Passat. The compartment held 30 bricks of cocaine weighing 29,823 grams with a street value of almost $3,000,000. 

“This verdict and sentence shows that law enforcement and the Tenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office are actively engaged in the fight to curb drug trafficking through the upstate of SC. I-85 has become heavily used by drug traffickers through Oconee and Anderson County. Law enforcement in both counties has provided excellent coverage of this area as well as outstanding investigative work in addressing this problem. My office will continue to seek stiff penalties for those who attempt to bring drugs into and through Oconee and Anderson Counties. We are very pleased with the sentence in this case.” Solicitor Chrissy Adams.

An Anderson County jury found April McCullough not guilty for the Murder of Scotty Fowler on February 5, 2005. 

“We respect the jury’s verdict. This was an extremely difficult case and we appreciate the effort and time that they put forth to reach a verdict. The sheriff’s department did a thorough investigation in this case and there was ample evidence and probable cause to present the case to a jury. This was obviously not a clear-cut case of self-defense, which is evident by the length of time the jury deliberated. 

Domestic violence was an issue throughout this case despite the fact that no prior domestic incidents were ever reported to the Sheriff’s department, social workers, or hospitals. We encourage all victims to contact law enforcement BEFORE violence within the home escalates to such a tragic level. The Sheriff’s office and the Solicitor’s office are dedicated to protecting true victims of domestic violence and we will continue to prosecute cases based on the facts in evidence.” Solicitor Chrissy Adams.