2 arrested in cocaine case

Charleston police and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office display more than $14,000 in cash that was seized in a drug bust Wednesday that took about 12 to 14 kilograms of cocaine off the street, where it would have been valued at about $350,000.

Authorities say they seized 12 to 14 kilograms of cocaine and several thousand dollars in cash after a year-long investigation that involved three law enforcement agencies.

Charleston County Sheriff's Office deputies Tuesday night arrested Marcus Gibbs, 38, of Johns Island and Chris Brown, 38, of Charleston. Both men were charged with trafficking cocaine and denied bail.

Law enforcement officers from the Charleston Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have been working together on the case for about a year.

Charleston Police Lt. Sterling Dutton said city police officers, during a related operation off Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley, came across information that led to search warrants for three other locations.

One of those places was Gibbs' residence. Sheriff's deputies searched the residence because it was in the county, Sterling said. They seized the cocaine, about $14,000 in cash, three vehicles, several televisions and furniture, he said.

The cocaine, with an estimated value of $352,000, is a "very significant amount," Dutton said. "It's been a long time since we've seen that much cocaine on the streets."

Bringing in that much cocaine "makes a substantial hit" in the supply in the Charleston area, he said.

Dutton called Gibbs "a major player" in the area's cocaine trade and hopes his arrest "sends a message we're out there working to get drugs off the street and stop the violence."

City and county authorities, at a press conference Wednesday, said the investigation was ongoing and they couldn't comment on it further. They also couldn't comment on the circumstances of Brown's arrest.

More arrests are likely as the investigation continues, Dutton said.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or dknich@postandcourier.com.