Sheriff’s Office to hold traffic safety checks Friday around county The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office will hold traffic safety checks on Friday, April 29, beginning at 3p.m. The checks will be conducted in various areas around the county. The checks will focus on enforcement of traffic laws, including speed enforcement and seatbelt laws as well as any other public safety issues that might arise during the checks.






An Early Branch man was arrested on April 26 by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office for burglarizing a Varnville woman’s home following another incident involving the same man the next day. Jeffery Lee Capers, 64, of 80 Reno Drive, Early Branch, was arrested and charged with burglary first degree, assault and battery third degree, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct following the reported burglary of a home in Varnville on April 25. Officers responded April 25 to a call from a Varnville woman stating her burglar alarm had been activated and the front door had been kicked in with lights on inside her home. She had just left for work about 15 minutes earlier. The woman informed officers she had a camera on her front porch which was able to capture video of the suspect that she later identified as Capers. The woman explained there had been an ongoing family disagreement over heirs property with Capers. Once the report was filed, officers then received a disturbance call the following day on April 26 during their investigation of the burglary to respond to a civil disturbance call at a store in Varnville. Another Early Branch man reported that a man came into the store he was in and threatened to go home and return with a gun to shoot him. The suspect, identified as Capers, had remained in the parking lot of the store as officers attempted to speak to him about the incident. Once officers approached Capers and asked him to exit his vehicle, Capers exited the vehicle, shouting obscenities at the officer. Officers attempted to calm Capers but he continued, resisting officers and falling to the ground. He was then placed under arrest for public disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault and battery third degree and transported to the Hampton County Detention Center.





Sheriff’s Office makes 13 arrests serving warrants and four arrests during traffic safety checks on April 21 and 22 The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, during a two-day event focusing on serving warrants and enforcing traffic laws, made 13 arrests serving warrants and four arrests during traffic safety checks. A total of eight tickets were issued and 12 warnings during the checks held on April 21 and 22. The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the South Carolina Highway Patrol during the traffic safety checks. Four arrests were made during the safety checks.


The four arrested included:

  1. Kristopher Costa, 21, of 908 Frances Lot 1, Walterboro, was charged with child restraint violation and possession of drug paraphernalia
  2. Joseph Holmes, Jr., 32, of 116 Pepper Street, Hampton, was charged with driving under suspension, second offense
  3. Dylan Gibbs, 23, of 71 Blaine Court, Walterboro, was charged with simple possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of a beginner’s permit
  4. Corey White, 36, of 883 Okatie Park West, Ridgeland, was charged with violation of the open container law

The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office also served 13 arrest warrants.

Those arrested included:

  1. Charles Lorenzo Roberts, 24, of 446 Harriet Tubman Lane, Varnville, was arrested and charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol
  2. Shyheed Nygy Horton, 24, of 74 Harriet Tubman Lane, Varnville, was arrested for resisting arrest
  3. Dee Dee Montess Saxon Thomas, 40, of 1860 Mullingsford Road, Brunson, was arrested for criminal domestic violence second degree
  4. John Lawton Fields, 54, of 1813 Lena Furman Expressway, Estill, was arrested for two counts of criminal sexual conduct second degree
  5. Jeremiah Lamont Terry, 21, of 208 Wise Road, Yemassee, was arrested for assault and battery in the third degree
  6. Raymond Hans Mador, 44, of 806 Surfside Beach Keel Court, Myrtle Beach, was arrested on a family court bench warrant
  7. Rio DeJaneri Jones, Sr., 43, of 526 Mulberry St., Hampton, was arrested on a family court bench warrant
  8. David Ware Gooding, 49, of 900 1st Street East, Hampton, was arrested for check fraud, first offense under $500
  9. Londell T. Burison, 46, of 483 Morrison Avenue, Estill, was arrested on a family court bench warrant
  10. Betty Marie Warren, 41, of 900 Cemetery Road, Varnville, was arrested on five counts of check fraud
  11. Tony Andrew Jarrell, 50, of 495 John F. Drive, Estill, was arrested on a family court bench warrant
  12. Jeremiah Topez Barnes, 35, of 670 Woodrow Road, Estill, was arrested for unlawful carrying of a pistol
  13. George Melvin Drawdy, III, 32, of 1437 Luray Highway, Hampton, was arrested on a family court bench warrant





Telephone scam costs Hampton County woman over $33,000 The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Hampton are currently investigating a telephone scam involving a Hampton County woman who lost over $33,000 due to the scam. The 75-year-old woman reported on April 22 that over the course of several days, she had received calls from the same number from someone representing themselves as IRS agents. The woman, when urged to send the caller money or face consequences, reportedly sent money to the callers in the form of a pre-loaded debit card.


“Telephone scams are unfortunately happening throughout the country every day and it is important for citizens to be aware of them,” Hampton County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. “The con artists might sound convincing when they call, but they are using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. Although a caller might threaten a citizen with an arrest if they refuse to pay, the IRS will never call someone for money.” Smalls said although victims are informed they owe money and are told they must pay immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, citizens should never pay someone over the phone who falsely represents themselves as IRS agents or give out any personal information over the telephone. At the time of the calls, the person calling stated the woman owed money in back taxes and the caller gave the woman a false case number so that she would give them money. The caller also reportedly threatened her with being arrested if she did not comply with their requests for money. The scammers, according to the IRS, use various bogus telephone numbers during the process, making it appear on the caller ID of a citizen’s phone as though it is an actual call from the IRS. After a few days of receiving calls, the woman became suspicious and contacted law enforcement. She lost over $33,000 during the scam.


As a reminder, the IRS will never:

  1. Call to demand payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you an opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as pre-paid debit card
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  5. Threaten to bring in the sheriff's office or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying





HCSO conducts alcohol enforcement checks, two businesses found not to be in compliance The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, conducted an alcohol enforcement check within various convenience stores and grocery stores within the county on April 20. The checks were done within 14 random stores around Hampton County. Two stores were not in compliance and included Midmark convenience store in Estill and Bobops #1 in Estill. The stores received a citation for the violations. “The checks are very important within the county to ensure that stores are in compliance with all of the laws and regulations,” Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. Future alcohol enforcement checks will continue throughout the year within the county at various locations.





The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office recently recognized its Patrolman of the Quarter during a ceremony held April 15 at the sheriff’s office. Hampton County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Craig Smith began the program as a way to recognize a deputy whose job performance met the highest standards throughout the current quarter. The program began in December and one patrolman is recognized during a quarterly ceremony throughout the year. Hampton County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Jarvis Lessane received the honor this quarter. Lessane has worked with the sheriff’s office for about a year. He received a $50 gift certificate, a designated parking spot for the quarter he is being recognized, and a shirt recognizing him as patrolman of the quarter worn on the weekends during his shift. “This program was started as a way to continue to build the morale within the department and as a way of recognizing an officer who reflects the values of the department and takes pride in his job,” Smith said. “In a sense it is a type of competition, however we appreciate each and every officer for all of their hard work throughout the year.” The Patrolman of the Quarter, Smith said, is selected by using several guidelines, including dependability and efficiency. One example, he said, would be that the deputy turned his paperwork in on time and was on time for each shift he worked. “This program is a way of recognizing the hard work and dedication of our officers,” Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. “We appreciate all of our officers for all that they do for the department and the community in which they serve.”




A new program within the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office is now underway allowing officers to visit more citizens within the community. The program was established by Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls as a way for officers to have more interactions with citizens in the county. It began on April 16 in Brunson as officers walked throughout the areas, going door to door speaking with those within that community. “This program is a way to reach more of our citizens and allow them to interact with my officers in a relaxed environment,” Smalls said. “We want citizens in all communities within the county to know we are here for them and to inform them of what services are available to them.” The program will take place once a month and will be held within different communities around the county.




The safety of motorists within Hampton County remains a top priority for Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls. In an effort to ensure the roads within the county remain safe, traffic safety checks will begin around 3p.m. on Friday, April 22 within the areas of Garnett and Luray. “We want our citizens to remain safe on our roadways, so please pay attention to the laws and drive safely,” Smalls said.



Body Camera Meeting Held April 14


Brief information from the body camera meeting held on April 14: Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls welcomed those attending a public meeting to discuss the use of body worn cameras on April 14 at the B.T. DeLoach Building in Hampton. The presentation was given by Hampton County Sheriff's Office Corporal William Rivers. Rivers explained the basic information about the cameras and their importance. Some of the information given included who would be wearing the cameras. Those wearing them will be uniform patrol deputies, traffic deputies, interdiction deputies, and any other deputies expected to interact with the public on a regular basis. Highlights from the meeting: The cameras will be activated to record during all field contacts involving actual or potential violations of the law, including, but not limited to: traffic stops, motor vehicle collision investigations, suspicious vehicles or persons, field contacts or arrests. Some examples of the calls for service which would require the use of the body camera include disturbances or disorders, public drunks, emotionally or mentally disturbed suspects, use of force as well as any in progress calls for service. Some of the restricted uses for the cameras include: no court proceedings, no bathroom or locker rooms, no confidential informants, no personal activity, not used during medical procedures. Important points: Citizens are not allowed to view the body worn camera recordings unless permission has been obtained from the sheriff or his designee. No deputy is allowed to attempt to erase, edit, or otherwise alter any data captured by a body worn camera Data collected by a body worn camera is not a public record subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. "We are hoping to have cameras within the next two months and we feel this will be very beneficial to not only my department but also the public," Sheriff Smalls said. ***NOTE*** Please visit our Facebook page to see a powerpoint presentation from the meeting for more information.





Sheriff’s Office to host informative meeting about body worn cameras The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a public meeting on April 14 at 10a.m. at the B.T. DeLoach Building in Hampton to discuss the use of body worn cameras by the department. The cameras were recently mandated for use by all law enforcement agencies in the state. “We are holding a public meeting to allow the public to have an opportunity to learn about body worn cameras and how they will be used by the sheriff’s office,” Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. “We have the cameras and will begin using them on a regular basis. This meeting will allow the public an opportunity to see how they operate and what policies and guidelines will be used with the cameras.” The meeting will also be held to explain how long the video will be kept from the cameras and its guidelines for use. “The cameras will be another helpful tool for use in law enforcement and we would like for the public to see how it will be utilized by our office,” Smalls said.





The prom season has once again arrived in Hampton County and the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office wants to make sure students and parents celebrate safely. “It is important for parents, teens and party hosts to understand the laws in order to keep everyone safe,” Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. “We want everyone to enjoy this time of year, making sure to remain responsible in the process.” It is also important to remember, Smalls said, that parents and guardians will be held responsible if any underage drinking occurs on their property and they could be subject to criminal and civil sanctions. “Another thing for business owners who sell alcohol to keep in mind is that they are reminded to ask patrons for ID,” Smalls said. “Underage sales and purchases could result in criminal prosecution.” The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office offers these tips to help keep teens safe during prom: * Communicate with your teens regularly and openly about alcohol and drugs * Communicate with other parents about your expectations and theirs * Discuss your expectations and rules for prom and graduation outings * Know who will be driving and what your teen’s plans are * Make sure your teen has a cell phone. Have pre-established times when your teen calls in to check in with you * Remind your teen not to use alcohol or drugs, or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence * Remind your teen to buckle up when riding in a vehicle * Get involved by volunteering to supervise prom events * Stay up until your teen gets home or make sure they are at their correct destination if they are spending the evening at a beach house or other location Regular and open communication between parents and teens can make a difference in preventing drunken driving, drug use, DUI accidents, and other destructive behavior. “Take the time to give your teens the information and tools they need to stay safe,” Smalls said. “We hope everyone has a safe prom night.”