2017-12-06 / Local News

Multiple charges result in 10-year prison sentence for Cowpens man

Ledger Staff Writer

William Grady Swofford IIII, who lived on Charlie Lane at the time the allegations were made, pleaded guilty to two counts of methamphetamine trafficking — one of them for an amount of drugs weighing between 28 and 100 grams — as well as firearm, drug possession, receiving stolen goods and alleged chop shop violations for the possession of vehicles with obliterated vehicle identification numbers.

As part of a plea agreement negotiated in advance by the attorneys involved, Circuit Court Judge Keith Kelly ultimately agreed to impose a 10-year prison sentence on one trafficking charge, a consecutive term of five years probation on a possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine charge, and concurrent sentences for all other offenses.

Assistant Solicitors Kim Leskanic and Matt Kendall, who prosecuted the cases, explained in court that charges stemmed from different investigations.

One set of charges stemmed from law enforcement’s search for a motorcycle involved in a December 2015 breach-of-trust investigation, which allegedly ended up in Swofford’s hands. Kendall informed the court that a search warrant led investigators to two motorcycles with obliterated vehicle identification numbers, narcotics including marijuana, a sawed-off shotgun and a stolen pistol. Court records indicate Swofford was arrested in January 2016 and released on bond.

A second set of charges stemmed from an August 2016 investigation during which an undercover operative was sent to Swofford’s home and was able to buy $600 worth of meth weighing 27.46 grams. During the subsequent execution of a search warrant, Leskanic said, deputies found just over 100 grams of meth inside the home, a co-defendant in possession of the $600 in marked buy money, various prescription pills, in addition to weapons and ammunition.

As part of the plea agreement, Swofford and any co-defendants will have to pay $5,527 in restitution in connection with a stolen 2005 Harley- Davidson motorcycle.

SLED had alleged following an investigation that the motorcycle, one of three vehicles stolen during an Aug. 18, 2016, burglary on Laurens Street in Cowpens, was traded to Swofford in exchange for methamphetamine.

Defense Attorney Trent Pruett represented Swofford, who was given credit for 455 days time served.

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