Drug investigators searching a downtown Charleston home Thursday night said they found a backpack full of drugs and a baby stroller carrying a stolen Smith & Wesson.
They arrested Harvey Ricardo Wiggins, a 23-year-old felon with a storied past, on seven drug and firearms charges. His girlfriend, who rents the apartment in the Charleston Housing Authority building at 20 Magazine St., said Wiggins “has not had a legal job ever since he was released from prison,” according to police reports.
The Adams Run resident, who stays several nights a week at the apartment two blocks north of Broad Street, had served time behind bars for threatening the life of a public official, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Those convictions stemmed from separate cases in 2009 in which Wiggins shot at a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office deputy. During a traffic stop months later when authorities found marijuana and $800 worth of cash in his car, he told a deputy, “I’m gonna make it my life’s mission before I die to see you go down,” according to a report.
But Wiggins’ troubles started at an early age.
When he was 13, he and some other children in Parkers Ferry were shooting a BB gun at a .22-caliber cartridge they had found. When a BB hit it, the round exploded, and the shell casing lodged in Wiggins’ head.
Wiggins still has a scar from the wound a decade ago, according to an arrest report.
When he was 17, Wiggins participated in the Beaufort Marine Institute, which aimed to divert troubled teenagers from the path to prison. The young Wiggins said in an interview at the time that he had an attitude problem and that the institute taught him self-control.
As he stood in jail garb during his bond hearing Friday, Wiggins sighed and held his face in his hands as Magistrate Linda Lombard read about his history and the new charges against him.
“I’m looking at some bad records,” Lombard said.
Lombard set his bail at $500,000 on charges in connection with the possession of marijuana and cocaine and the distribution of those drugs near a school. He also faces counts related to being a felon possessing a stolen firearm.
“That’s crazy,” he told the magistrate. “A person ain’t never seen that much money in their life, and ya’ll give us a bond like that.”
Lombard said “that’s enough” as Wiggins continued calling the bail amount “crazy.”
“These aren’t average times,” Lombard said, “and we aren’t dealing with average people.”
The Charleston Police Department was led to the Magazine Street apartment after an informant bought 4 ounces of marijuana from Wiggins earlier this week, according to arrest affidavits.
In the kitchen, officers found Wiggins’ backpack that contained 6.6 ounces of marijuana and 0.18 ounces of cocaine, reports stated.
They also came across $300 in cash and a loaded .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol that had been stolen from a Dorchester County resident in 2011.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
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