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Law Enforcement Report - Aug. 3, 2011

Two men arrested after meth lab discovered

Posted: August 3, 2011 8:44 a.m.
Updated: August 3, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Narcotics agents with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrested two men at a Watts Hill Road, Lugoff, location July 25 after receiving an anonymous tip they were cooking methamphetamine in a metal shed.

A KCSO incident report identified the men as Richard Kendrick Watts, 33, of the home, and Thomas Watts, of Longtown Road, Ridgeway.

The case appears connected to an earlier one involving a meth lab near the old DeKalb School on U.S. 521.

Agents went to the Watts Hill Road address and spoke with the one of the suspect’s mother who said her son was living there rent free and agreed to their searching the property. As they approached the shed, agents noticed a fuel container often present during meth manufacture by the shed door and smelled a foul odor coming from the shed.

The suspect’s mother opened the shed for agents, exposing what appeared to be an insulated indoor marijuana grow but was being used to cook meth. Agents found three plastic bottles coated with meth powder and recovered approximately 2 grams of meth -- “enough to pack a 2-inch-by-2-inch envelope,” agents noted in a KCSO report. They also found a coffee grinder, filters, measuring spoon with a white chunky powder and glass containers with white powder.

Inside the suspect’s room in the home, agents found plastic bags with powder residue, a homemade beaker/filter, two plastic bottles with funnels/filters, three unlabeled medicine bottle with white powder residue, cut plastic straws with white powder residue, brass scale, three crack pipes, a marijuana pipe and marijuana stalks and stems.

As agents conducted their search, Richard and Thomas Watts arrived in white Dodge pickup truck and came into the home. After Mirandizing him, agents interviewed Richard Watts. He denied growing marijuana and claimed the drug paraphernalia belonged to Charles Ray. Agents arrested Ray July 12 during a traffic stop following surveillance of a mobile home near the old DeKalb school. During that stop, Ray allegedly tried to eat some of the meth he was transporting.

Richard Watts said he would hold on to some of “Ray’s stuff,” to include the drug paraphernalia, drugs and some stolen items. Agents then arrested Richard Watts and charged him with possession with intent to distribute (PWID) meth.

Agents reported that Thomas Watts was “quiet” during Richard Watts’ interview, but as agents began to discover more about the case, he began to interfere. They said he tried to signal others not to talk to law enforcement, moved property around the house as agents tried to search and tried luring agents away from search areas by standing behind agents’ vehicles so they would have to concentrate on him.

After seeing him go in and out of the truck several times, agents discovered an array of weapons inside, including a shotgun with a shortened barrel and various knives, some with more than 1-foot blades. Agents arrested Thomas Watts for obstruction of justice.

The KCSO reported the following other incidents during the period of July 25-31:

A 24-year-old Statham, Ga., woman said she fended off an attacker at the Lugoff rest area on I-20 while traveling to Myrtle Beach on I-20 around 12:30 a.m. Monday. The woman said she was coming out of a stall in the women’s room to wash her hands when a man grabbed her from behind, placing one hand on her throat and the other over her mouth. She said once she stopped screaming, the man took his hand off her mouth and started to try pulling her pants off in what she believed was an attempt to sexually assault her. At that point, she said she was able to spin around and kick the suspect in the crotch. He turned and ran while she chased him out to the parking lot where he got into a gold-colored Honda Civic and left east on I-20.

Deputies arrested two Greenville men, 17 and 18 years of age, after the S.C. Highway Patrol reported finding a 1999 Ford F-150 sitting on the side of I-20 near mile marker 101. A trooper reported seeing the two men walking away from the truck and arrested them after learning the truck was stolen. He took them to KCSO headquarters for further investigation. There, after being Mirandized, one of the suspects consented to have deputies search his belongings, including a cell phone revealing a text message confirming he and the other suspect stole the truck. That suspect then reportedly confessed to stealing the truck, as did the other suspect.

A traffic enforcement unit deputy arrested a Lakeworth, Fla., woman wanted out of Mauldin after stopping the vehicle she was in for speeding, tint violation and failing to maintain a proper lane. The deputy noticed a piece of marijuana on the male driver’s shirt and that he appeared to be trying to swallow something. It turned out he swallowed a small amount of crack or powder cocaine. A computer check revealed the woman was wanted out of Mauldin and that officers there wanted her taken into custody. Due to the small amount of marijuana found in the car, the deputy did not arrest anyone else, but issued warnings for the traffic violations.

A 35-year-old Camden man said he was attacked by a 40-year-old Cassatt man at a Cheraw Road location. He said he was struck by an unopened can of soda, causing it to explode. The suspect then allegedly grabbed a pair of hedge clippers from out of the bed of his truck, broke out the left window of the victim’s truck and chased him around the truck threatening to kill the victim. The victim said this was the third time the suspect threatened him during the past year.

A Lugoff man said two men pulled into his yard on Koon Court, claimed to be federal agents and asked him if he was making counterfeit money. The man said the men acted very suspiciously, but did not appear to be armed. They did not provide any badge or credentials and did not specify which branch of the government they were with. He said he was questioned for several minutes and the men then left.

Deputies and DSS placed a juvenile female into emergency protective custody following allegations she has been sexually abused by her father for several years in both Kershaw and another county. The allegations include other physical abuse and that the girl’s father has given her pills and alcohol to relax her so a neighbor’s son can sleep with her.

Deputies responded to a report of a break-in in progress at a McCords Ferry Road, Lugoff, residence. The victim said when he believes the suspect ran out the back door as he pulled into the driveway. Inside, the victim and a deputy discovered a range top microwave had been removed and the stove had been pulled away from the wall.

Someone broke into a Rush Lane, Camden, home and open all the drawers throughout the house and ransacked two bedrooms. Missing items were a collectible knife, two checkbooks and a military medal of service. A keychain, hammer and knife were found that did not belong to the victims.

A 54-year-old Camden man allegedly shot a hole in the wall of his Mallard Road home during an argument with his wife and mother-in-law. He reportedly left with his mother to go to Michigan before deputies arrived.

Someone broke into a Ward Road, Lugoff, home and stole two pump action shotguns, .270 rifle with scope, 7mm-08 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, .357 revolver, 9mm pistol and a 52-inch TV.

The KCSO is investigating the possibility a juvenile female ordered a package of sexually-oriented material and had it delivered to another girl’s home as a prank.

Someone broke into a Chestnut Hill Road, Elgin, home and stole a television, computer screen, DVD/VCR combo, two DVD players and an Internet hot spot device.

Someone forced their way through the front door of a Lockhart Road home near Kershaw and stole $500 and 280 prescription medication pills.

The owner of a Lugoff bait shop said his 19-year-old stepson broke into the store, stole $1,000 in merchandise and vandalized his truck.

Someone busted in the front door to an Old Stagecoach Road, Camden, home and stole several video games and a laptop computer.

Someone broke into a Mattison Street, Camden, apartment and stole a 42-inch LCD TV, video game console and a computer.

Someone stole a tow dolly and two auto transport trailers from an Elgin outdoor equipment company on U.S. 1.

Someone broke into a vending machine at the Lugoff Swim Club on Ridgeway Road and stole all the snacks.

Someone stole a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer from a Dicey Creek Road, Camden, home.

Someone stole two dirt bikes from behind an Albert Street, Camden, residence.

County deputies also assisted other agencies, served bench warrants and dealt with 11 larceny; 10 simple assault; nine vandalism; seven driving under suspension; six intimidation; five harassing or obscene phone call and simple possession of marijuana; four public disorderly conduct; three forgery, natural death and swindle; two burglary, DUI and shoplifting; and one ATM/credit card fraud, attempted suicide, failure to stop for blue lights, harassment, motor vehicle theft, no driver’s license, open container, runaway, scam, sexual assault with an object, theft from a vehicle and theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories.

*****

Camden Police Department (CPD) officers arrested a 17-year-old Camden boy after he allegedly injured a 48-year-old man during a fight. Officers initially responded to a convenience store just inside the city limits on U.S. 1 near east Camden, found no one and were asked to proceed to a Pitts Street address.

There, they located the injured man. EMS technicians said the man may have suffered a broken rib and took him to the hospital. They also said there was an intoxicated person in the roadway at the intersection of York Street and Lakeshore Drive. That’s where officers located the 17-year-old who admitted to being involved in the fight.

The victim said the boy “got in his face” at the convenience store and he told the boy to leave him alone. Instead, he said, the boy tried to sucker punch him, but he managed to avoid the blow. He said the boy then tackled him into a stand inside the store, causing his injury.

Officers transported the young man to jail where he was charged with second degree assault. They also took a full can of tobacco and a can of beer, both of which are illegal for a 17-year-old person to possess.

The CPD reported the following other incidents during the period of July 25-31:

Officers arrested a 17-year-old Camden boy following an argument between him and his brother and their stepfather. While conversing with the boys’ grandmother, the officer noticed the boys trying to leave. He immediately called them over. One of the boys complied, but the 17-year-old became very irate and agitated, ignored the officer and then began using profane language. When the officer went to arrest him for public disorderly conduct, he reportedly “resisted forcibly and tried to evade custody.” The officer was able to detain him, however, and charged him with public disorderly conduct and resisting or interfering with a municipal officer.

A 15-year-old boy allegedly threw a match into dry pine straw at Camden Middle School on McRae Road, setting a large fire causing $2,000 in damage.

Someone discharged a fire extinguisher and cracked door glass at the Kershaw County Recreation Department building on West DeKalb Street.

Someone broke into a Campbell Street home and stole an antique chair, antique clock and rotary phone.

Someone broke into a Hasty Road apartment and stole a laptop computer and a .380 caliber handgun.

Camden officers also assisted other agencies, served bench warrants and dealt with four larceny; three harassing or obscene phone call; two vandalism; and one ATM/credit card burglary, DUI, fraud, identity theft, shoplifting, stolen tag

Incident reports are provided by the Camden Police Department and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and are a matter of public record under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. If the C-I makes a mistake, it will correct it upon verification with the appropriate law enforcement agency. Readers are cautioned that other individuals may have similar or identical names as those contained in incident reports. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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