Myrtle Beach man pleads guilty to selling drugs that caused an overdose death

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United States Attorney Sherri Lydon says a Myrtle Beach man has pled guilty to a drug charge related to an overdose death in December of 2017. 

Lydon says in a press release that James Latron Sumter pleaded guilty to “conspiring to distribute a quantity of cocaine and heroin, the use of which resulted in serious bodily injury or death.”

Assistant United States Attorney Everett McMillian presented evidence that showed Charles Rayford Hunt, Jr. contacted Sumter to buy a potent mix of cocaine and heroin called a “speedball” for a woman Hunt knew. Hunt took the woman to an apartment where she later used the drugs and started to show signs of an overdose. 

Hunt then called Sumter and returned to pick him up. The two then went to a bar leaving the woman in the backseat of the car as they played pool. Later that night Hunt realized the woman had stopped breathing and “panicked” and dumped her body just across the North Carolina border during the early morning hours of December 30, 2017. 

On his way back to Myrtle Beach, Hunt threw the woman’s cellphone into the intercostal waterway and gave her purse and belonging to another conspirator, Jose Anthony Ortiz, Jr., who destroyed many of the victim’s personal items in a burn pit at Hunt’s request. 

Hunt and Ortiz were prosecuted for their roles in covering up the overdose.  Both men pled guilty and were sentenced to 21 and 27 months in federal prison, respectively. 

Sumter faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. 

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