Aiken County drug bust nets 7 arrests

Seven Aiken County residents have been charged after authorities confiscated 13 pounds of marijuana, 5 ounces of cocaine and several handguns.

The investigation, led by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office with assistance from Aiken County SWAT and warrants teams, revealed that the drugs discovered in four residences were being sold while children were at home, according to a sheriff's office news release issued Tuesday.

Authorities issued warrants at homes in the 200 block of Chime Bell Park Drive and the 100 block of Watkins Lane in New Ellenton, the 1500 block of North Silverton Street in Jackson, and the first block of Henley Drive in Beech Island. The following were arrested:

- Leon Patterson, 33, of the Chime Bell Park Drive address, was charged with possession of cocaine, second offense; operating a stash house; two counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance; and three counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

- Lacardia Lanique Sharpton, 27, also of Chime Bell Park Drive, was charged with possession of cocaine, two counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and three counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

- Robert Lamont Samuels, 24, of the North Silverton Street residence, was charged with three counts of possession with intent to distribute a schedule IV controlled substance.

- Reuben Alexander Legrand Bethea, 23, also of North Silverton Street, was charged with distribution of crack cocaine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, two counts each of distribution of cocaine and unlawful neglect of a child, and four counts of distribution of schedule I, II, and III controlled substances.

- Derrick Valentine, 27, of the 1400 block of North Silverton Street, was charged with distribution of crack cocaine. Valentine also had an active arrest warrant.

- Marquise Jarrel Bush, 21, of the first block of Henley Drive in Beech Island, was charged with trafficking marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm with a filed-off serial number.

- Arshaw Bernard Bethelmie, 33, of the 100 block of Watkins Lane in New Ellenton, was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, unlawful neglect of a child and four counts of distribution of a schedule II controlled substance.

Authorities are looking for three others on related charges:

- Gerald Anthony Rouse, 40, of the 200 block of Biscayne Road in New Ellenton, is wanted for charges of distribution of crack cocaine.

- Sandra Bethea Legrand, 45, of the 1500 block of North Silverton Street, is wanted on charges of distribution of schedule I, II and III controlled substances and two counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

- Francis Raymond Rainey Jr., 64, of the 100 block of Midway Circle in Aiken, is wanted for operating a stash house and distribution of a schedule III controlled substance.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (803) 922-9709.