Drug dealer receives maximum sentence for selling pills that led to overdose death

Octavious Calliham, left, stands with his attorney, Andrew Hodges, during sentencing Friday at the Greenwood County Courthouse.

Greenwood, S.C.; May 18, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Greenwood drug dealer was sentenced to 20 years in prison after selling the dangerous drug Fentanyl to a Ninety Six man, leading to the man’s overdose death.

Octavious Calliham, 26, pleaded guilty on May 8 to charges of involuntary manslaughter and distribution of Fentanyl, with sentencing being deferred until Friday morning.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. sentenced Calliham to 20 years in prison, suspended to five years in prison and four years of probation, with the first year of probation being under intense supervision. The imposed sentence is the maximum allowable under state law on both charges.

On August 10, 2017, authorities responded to the home of 31-year-old Michael Pridmore after receiving a report of an unresponsive male in the home. Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox pronounced Pridmore dead just after 5 p.m. of an apparent overdose of Fentanyl.

Agents with the Greenwood Drug Enforcement Unit were able to locate Calliham, who sold Pridmore the Fentanyl, and perform a controlled buy to obtain deadly Fentanyl pills. DEU agents immediately took Calliham into custody after the controlled buy was completed.

Assistant Solicitor Josh Thomas handled the case for the state, with assistance from Victim Advocate Mary Ann Stroup. Calliham was represented by Andrew Hodges of the Greenwood County Bar.

Coroner Cox noted the significance of the conviction, not only for Pridmore’s family, but also for families of overdose victims across South Carolina.

“In all my years in law enforcement and as Coroner, I have dealt with few cases as heart-breaking as this one,” Cox said following the sentencing. “I hope this sends a loud message to drug dealers all over South Carolina and the entire nation that they will be held accountable for peddling this poison on the streets.”

Solicitor Stumbo, who praised the work of his staff along with Lt. Chad Cox and Inv. Clint Burden of the DEU, echoed the Coroner’s sentiment and vowed to continue taking the fight to the dealers on the streets.

“We will continue to fight the opioid epidemic with all of the tools available to us under the law, including homicide indictments for drug dealers who are pushing deadly, concentrated amounts of fentanyl onto our streets,” said Solicitor Stumbo after the sentencing.  “I hope that Mr. Pridmore’s family can find some peace and closure in the wake of this, and other opioid dealers in South Carolina will take notice of this conviction and prison sentence.”

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