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Meth maker gets eight years

Posted: May 22, 2014 3:06 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2014 5:00 a.m.

A county man who admitted to being an illegal drug maker will spend the next several years in prison after pleading guilty to his second offenses of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, and for violating the hazardous waste act.

In a press release, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Lloyd Otis Sams, 40, was arrested April 20 in Cassatt. Deputies were serving a search warrant on a residence Sams had recently vacated and found methamphetamine residue and equipment used to make the drug. Sams drove up to the residence, saw the deputies and tried to flee. He was quickly apprehended and a mobile methamphetamine lab was found in the vehicle, according to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office incident report at the time. During that encounter, deputies also arrested a woman with Sams, 44-year-old Debra Page Grooms.

According to Matthews, Sams pleaded guilty May 15 and was sentenced to eight years by 5th Circuit Court Judge Benjamin H. Culbertson. Sams is required to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, Matthews said. Grooms also pleaded guilty, receiving a sentence of 18 months probation.

The meth labs found in the home and car were the sixth and seventh labs seized in Kershaw County in 2014. Matthews said only three labs were found in the county in all of 2013. At the time of Grooms and Sams’ arrests, Matthews said the cleanup of the hazardous ingredients and methamphetamine waste at the home could end up being one of the largest and most costly in South Carolina history.    

“Methamphetamine production is a growing problem in our state,” Matthews said, adding that Sams’ sentence “should take him out of circulation for a while. Hopefully this sentence will be a lesson to others that we take this problem seriously in Kershaw County and those who make meth should move their operations elsewhere.”

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