Three men accused of stashing more than 10,000 pills in Kershaw County are now in federal prisons.
Two years ago, in June 2017, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies arrested two men following a lengthy car chase through Lugoff-Elgin neighborhoods off Wildwood Lane. When they caught up to them, deputies arrested Neil Corey Trammell, 30, of Union, and Trevor Dee Wilson, 23, of Sharon, and charged them with failing to stop for blue lights, trafficking in illegal drugs, possession of and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and possession of marijuana.
Following Trammell and Wilson’s arrests, law enforcement officers from the Whitmire Police Department and Newberry County Sheriff’s Office in Newberry County got in touch with the KCSO. They said Trammell and Wilson were suspects in a Newberry County pharmacy break-in during which thousands of doses of controlled drugs were stolen.
Three weeks later, that investigation led KSCO narcotics agents to a location in Kershaw County where they found and seized upwards of 10,000 pills and capsules as well as two handguns and other evidence linked to the Newberry County pharmacy break-in.
It also led them to arrest Trammell’s brother, Joshua Travis Trammell, 29, of Lugoff, charging him with trafficking in illegal drugs.
On Monday, the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office dropped all state charges against the Trammells and Wilson in favor of federal charges. Wilson was sentenced to federal prison in January; the Trammells a week ago on July 26.
Months after their arrests, a U.S. District of South Carolina grand jury indicted the three men on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, tapentadol, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, morpine and fentanyl; unlawfully entering the pharmacy, located in Whitmire, with the intent of stealing those controlled substances; and possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
The Trammells and Wilson were arraigned in January 2018. That April, a federal magistrate set bail at $50,000 for Joshua Trammell, allowing a 10 percent cash option, with the stipulation that he would live with his grandmother and observe a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
In July 2018, Wilson, his attorneys and the U.S District Attorney’s office filed a plea agreement whereby he agreed to cooperate and plead guilty to the conspiracy charge. In the agreement, Wilson agreed to accept a sentence of a maximum imprisonment between 20 and 30 years, a fine of between $1 million and $2 million, without probation or parole, and between three to six years supervised release, all dependent upon his past criminal convictions. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining indictments against him.
Wilson pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count on July 24, 2018, and was sentenced on Jan. 14 of this year to 135 months, or 11 years and three months, with credit for time served since his arrest on June 21, 2017. He was also ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the Newberry County pharmacy. According to U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons records Wilson is currently incarcerated at the Yazoo City minimum security federal correctional institute in Mississippi.
In August 2018, the Trammells’ grandmother, with whom Joshua Trammell had lived, petitioned the court to be relived of the surety on his $50,000 bond. In her petition, Trammell’s grandmother stated, “He won’t listen to me and drinks too much. When I go to sleep, he leaves by the back door. I no longer want him to live with me.” The court granted that request and ordered U.S. Marshals to take him back into custody on Aug. 21, 2018.
At that point, a pre-trial conference was scheduled for Dec. 5, 2018, in Columbia, but moved to Jan. 29 of this year.
On the same day Wilson was sentenced -- Jan. 24 -- Neil and Joshua Trammell, their attorneys and the U.S. District Attorney’s office filed plea agreements with the court. As Wilson had, the Trammells each agreed to cooperate and plead guilty to the conspiracy charge in exchange for having the other charges against them dismissed under the same stipulations as Wilson’s agreement.
Five days later, on Jan. 29, the Trammells pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.
On March 28, Neil Trammell wrote a letter to the court in place of a verbal statement to be made in court. In that letter, Neil Trammell stated he had gotten out of prison four years earlier, got a job working 10 to 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week.
“I was fully focused on doing right, taking care of my son and everything I needed to do as a man,” he wrote.
He went on to say that ending up with an abscessed tooth led to a friend giving him some pain pills, leading him to become addicted to opioids, “which eventually lead me to losing my job and turning back to crime which lead me to where I am now. I did not break into the pharmacy to become a drug dealer, I just wanted the drugs to feed my addiction.”
Neil Trammell closed his letter by stating that he was not excusing his behavior, just “stating the facts,” and that he was “extremely regretful” for the mistakes and bad decisions he had made.
One week ago, on July 26, a federal judge imposed sentences on Joshua and Neil Trammell.
Joshua Trammell will spend 121 months, or just a little more than 10 years in prison starting at the Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution in order to be evaluated for any available substance abuse programs while incarcerated. Like Wilson, Joshua Trammell was also ordered to pay the Newberry County pharmacy $6,000 in restitution.
Neil Trammell will spend 210 months, or approximately 17 years and six months in prison and to be placed at a federal prison as close to Union County as possible. He, too, was ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the pharmacy in Newberry County.