South Carolina U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced Wednesday that Jeffery Jermaine Joe, 42, of Camden, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. According to a press release issued by Lydon’s office, Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson accepted Joe’s guilty plea and will sentence him after receiving and reviewing a pre-sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
According to facts summarized by the government at Joe’s guilty plea hearing, Joe was caught in a traffic stop with the illicit drugs and was subsequently captured on video selling pills laced with fentanyl. Joe was also charged for possession of a firearm that was discovered in the same room where he sold the fentanyl-laced pills. Federal law prohibits Joe from possessing a firearm based on prior convictions for distribution of crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (second offense); trafficking crack cocaine (second offense); distribution crack cocaine; and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
County deputies arrested Joe in late January 2017 along with six other people following a two-month investigation. At the time, narcotics investigators said they began focusing their efforts on drug activities at the Deluxe Inn on East DeKalb Street in downtown Camden after receiving citizen complaints and other information.
Investigators conducted undercover buys of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and pills during that time. They also arrested “numerous individuals” after deputies observed them leaving certain rooms at the Deluxe Inn and found to be in possession of illegal narcotics.
Narcotics investigators and other deputies executed a search warrant on five different rooms at the inn, seizing quantities of heroin, meth, crack, marijuana and pills. That led to issuing a total of 22 warrants on Joe and the other suspects. Deputies also seized a “significant quantity” of stolen property believed to have been traded for drugs.
At the time, Joe was listed as living on Beaver Dam Road in the eastern part of the county.
Online Kershaw County Clerk of Court records show county deputies filed 12 charges against Joe following his arrest. Additional charges were filed in March 2017 for possession of a control substance with intent to distribute in proximity of a school and a third offense of distributing methamphetamine. All the charges were dropped in August 2017, possibly in favor of pursuing the federal charge he pleaded guilty to Wednesday.
The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.