HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Two people were arrested and more are expected to be charged after an Horry County investigation into criminal activity began in early 2022 due to “numerous community complaints,” according to the Horry County Police Department.
The investigation began after community members were concerned about gunfire, drug activity, excessive traffic and other criminal activity in the area, according to police.
As part of the investigation, James “Murk” Bellamy Jr. was arrested after police seized four illegal handguns and drugs in March, according to a news release.
One of the weapons was stolen and the other three had illegal “switches” to convert them into fully-automatic weapons, according to police. Police also seized 11 grams of crack cocaine.
Bellamy was charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, trafficking in ice, crank or crack 10g to 28g, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, sale or delivery of pistol and possession by certain persons unlawful, three counts of unlawful possession of machine gun and an outstanding warrant of failure to appear, according to police.
Bellamy was arrested a second time in October after a traffic stop along Highway 111, according to police. Before the traffic stop, Bellamy allegedly got rid of a bag containing 18 grams of crack cocaine, 26 grams of heroin and a 9mm handgun.
Bellamy was charged the second time with littering, trafficking cocaine base less than 28 grams, trafficking heroin, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to police.
Narcotics detectives continued to work in the area of Bellamy Drive, Woodridge Circle, Punk Road and other nearby neighborhoods.
Police were notified on Nov. 23 that Zuri “Mitch” Stephens was wanted for attempted murder in connection with a shooting. He was arrested with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, HCPD Special Operations, and HCPD Narcotics Unit, police said.
Stephens was charged with attempted murder, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, seven counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, trafficking cocaine, trafficking heroin, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of methamphetamine, according to police.
Police seized a 2015 Dodge Challenger in the investigation and also searched Stephens’ home and two other homes where he allegedly sold illegal drugs, according to police.
“Thank you to all of the Little River and Horry County neighbors and visitors who have assisted in this effort,” police said in a news release. “Together, we create a safer community to call our home.”
Police said more arrests are expected in the coming days and weeks. The investigation remains ongoing.