Brandan Lamont Richardson, a 35-year-old validated gang member, faced the verdict of a Lexington County jury on Thursday, January 11, 2024. The jury convicted Richardson on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine over 100 grams, Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine. Presiding over the trial was Circuit Court Judge Walton J. McLeod, IV, who sentenced Richardson to twenty-five (25) years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections for each drug charge. Notably, trafficking methamphetamine over 100 grams falls under the category of a violent, serious offense with “no parole” according to South Carolina law.
The events leading to Richardson’s conviction unfolded on February 9, 2023, when agents from the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services went to the Masters Inn in the City of Cayce to apprehend a wanted individual. Instead, they encountered Richardson. Suspecting drug activity, the agents contacted investigators from the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team. A subsequent search of Richardson’s room exposed over 100 grams of methamphetamine, 16 grams of fentanyl, and crack cocaine concealed in a dog food bag meant for a puppy Richardson claimed ownership of. The search also revealed drug paraphernalia, packaging materials indicative of drug sales, and a significant amount of cash. Text messages recovered from Richardson’s phone provided evidence of his negotiations and attempts to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl in the area.
It is worth noting that Richardson had previous convictions for Drug Distribution, Unlawful Neglect of a Child, Domestic Violence, and Robbery. He was transported to the South Carolina Department of Corrections on January 17, 2024, to commence serving his sentence.
The prosecution of this case was led by Assistant Solicitors Jordan Cox and Bruce Norton, while the investigation was carried out by the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team, with support from the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon. The case exemplifies the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office in pursuing justice against individuals involved in the distribution of dangerous drugs, particularly fentanyl, in the community.