12 busted in undercover narcotics investigation

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — Twelve Midlands men face an array of charges after a 24-month narcotics investigation by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the Sumter Police Department and the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office.

During the course of the investigation, deputies say multiple undercover buys were made from several drug dealers and more than $250,000 in illegal drugs were seized after the execution of search warrants.

Officials say they seized a variety of drugs, including large amounts of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and 36 pounds of marijuana. Twenty-one guns were also seized, many of which were assault type weapons. Officers also seized in more than $66,000.00 cash.

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis says he hopes these arrests send a clear message that they will continue to do whatever is necessary to make Sumter County safe by removing drug dealers and illegal weapons off the street.

Following is a list of those charged. Deputies say the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Faquanta Urell Benjamin, 18, of Sumter:
Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) (4 Counts)
Distribution of an imitation substance

Frederick Charles Benjamin, 40, of Sumter: 
Distribution of Heroin (2 counts)

Fred China, III, 36,of Sumter:
Distribution of a controlled substance (Fentanyl) (4 counts)
Distribution of an imitation substance

Kwuamane Deshon Colclough, 28, of Sumter:
Trafficking in Cocaine more than 28 grams
PWID Marijauna
Possession of a controlled substance
Possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime
Distribution of Heroin (2 counts)

Joshua Ryan Davis, 30, of Sumter:
Distribution of Heroin
Possession of Heroin

Larry Dinkins, 45, of Wedgefield:
Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense

Thornwell Jones, Jr., 69, of Sumter:
(Retired Sergeant from the Sumter County Detention Center)
Distribution of Heroin (12 counts)

Marcus Martenez McConico, 28, of Sumter:
Trafficking Marijuana 3rd Offense
Trafficking Methamphetamine 2nd Offense
PWID Crack Cocaine 2nd Offense
Manufacturing Crack Cocaine 2nd Offense
Possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime
Possession of a stolen weapon

Richard Joseph Piucci, 38, of Wedgefield:
PWID Crack Cocaine 2nd Offense
PWID Cocaine 2nd Offense
PWID Methamphetamine 2nd Offense
Possession of Marijuana 2nd Offense
Felon in Possession of a weapon (4 Counts)

John Henry Stokes, 42, of Sumter:
Distribution of Heroin (4 counts)
Distribution of Methamphetamine (3 counts)

Joseph Edward Vipperman, 34, of Sumter:
Distribution of Heroin 2nd Offense (2 counts)
Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd Offense (2 counts)

Hikeem Antonio Ward, 21, of Sumter:
Distribution of Heroin
Trafficking in more than 28 grams of Methamphetamine
Possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime
PWID Crack Cocaine
Possession of a controlled substance (Fentanyl)
PWID Marijuana