MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A multi-organization law enforcement agency has charged 26 people for participating in a drug operating ring, the United States Attorney District of South Carolina announced Tuesday afternoon during a joint press conference in Myrtle Beach.

A joint team of more than 85 agencies across federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have arrested 18 people who have been charged in federal court for their roles in an interstate drug trafficking organization that operated out of Myrtle Beach, Conway and Florence, according to the announcement. Three people were already in custody on related charges. Authorities are continuing to look for five suspects.

The arrests are the first in Operation New Optix, a series of federal and local investigations targeting drugs and violent crimes in the area. 

The drug trafficking organization distributed large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine and used firearms during the crime, according to the announcement. 

Those arrested are:

  • Shackeel Coleman, 29, of Myrtle Beach
  • Kimo Felton, 41, of Conway
  • Harry Bellamy, 41, of Myrtle Beach
  • Steven Jeffcoat, 30, of Myrtle Beach
  • Lenard Hemingway, 53, of Myrtle Beach
  • Yenitza Coleman, 27, of Myrtle Beach
  • Jasamin Mitchell, 32, of Conway
  • Timothy McCray, 31, of Conway
  • Henry Boyd, 39, of Conway
  • Timothy Lee, 27, of Myrtle Beach
  • Jacqueline Strickland, 59, of Conway
  • Venson Strickland, 29, of Myrtle Beach
  • James Graham, 30, of Conway
  • Alonzo Lee Pierce, 37, of Galivants Ferry
  • Gary Jackson, 30, of Myrtle Beach
  • Alton Brown, 41, of Florence
  • Joshua Darby, 32, of Murrells Inlet
  • Travis Rogers, 40, of Conway
  • Kevin Linne, 33, of Myrtle Beach
  • Mario Williams, 41, of Florence
  • Robert Hooker, 40, of Myrtle Beach

Law enforcement is still looking for 26-year-old Bradley Adams of Myrtle Beach, 35-year-old Brandon Prawl, of Conway, 29-year-old Quentin Smith, of Conway 35-year-old Curtis McArthur, of Longs and 38-year-old Ernest Smalls Jr., of Little River.