A James Island man was one of 35 people indicted in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that stretched from South Carolina to California, Attorney General Alan Wilson said Friday.
Reece Hunter Motley, 24, of Stono River Drive faces a charge of conspiracy to traffic 100 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana, a statement from Wilson said. The count carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.
Most of the suspects are from the Upstate, which Wilson said served as the base of the operation to traffic marijuana and prescription drugs.
At least a half-dozen are from other states, including North Carolina, New Jersey and New York.
Some of the most serious charges were levied against Joshua Ellsworth, 39, of Aptos, Calif., who faces the same charge as Motley and five counts of distributing marijuana. Each of the distribution charges is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The indictment alleges that the 35 suspects conspired to transport and distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana and prescription drugs in Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties during the past five years. The investigation also found illegal activity in York, Anderson, Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, according to the statement.
South Carolina investigative agencies in the probe included the State Law Enforcement Division, the Highway Patrol, local sheriff's offices, the National Guard and the state's probation and parole department. The U.S. Marshals Service, postal inspectors and federal drug agents also took part.
Agencies in California played a role, too.
Assistant Attorney General Joshua Underwood and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Heather Weiss will prosecute the case.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
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