Laurens, S.C.; October 23, 2023 – A Gray Court man was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to charges stemming from drug busts in two counties, 8th Circuit Solicitor Davis M. Stumbo announced Tuesday.
James Victor Capuano, 51, of Gray Court, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of trafficking methamphetamine. Capuano changed his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty” in advance of his November trial date in Laurens County General Sessions Court.
Circuit Judge R. Frank Addy Jr. then sentenced Capuano to a total of 16 years in prison. Due to the nature of the offenses, state law requires that Capuano serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence and will not be considered for parole.
In 2021, Capuano was involved in two separate incidents in Laurens and Greenville counties involving large quantities of methamphetamine. In August 2021, Capuano was stopped in Greenville County and had 300 grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle. In December 2021, the Greenville County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) was conducting random package inspections (parcel interdiction) at the Greenville FedEx facility and identified a package containing more than four pounds of methamphetamine. The package was addressed to Capuano’s address in Gray Court.
Investigators contacted the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and deputies obtained a search warrant for the home. Capuano was spotted driving and deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Capuano led deputies on a brief chase before being taken into custody. A search of Capuano’s residence turned up more methamphetamine as well as evidence of the receipt, processing, and distribution of large amounts of drugs from that location. Capuano admitted to deputies that he regularly received packages of methamphetamine in the mail and would repackage it at his Gray Court residence for distribution throughout the Upstate.
Assistant Solicitor Mary-Madison Driggers was the prosecuting attorney for the State. Capuano was represented by attorney Scarlet Moore of the Laurens County Bar.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his team, along with narcotics investigators Charles Nations and Chris Oggenfuss of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville County DEU agents, in securing the conviction and prison sentence.
“Meth continues to be major issue, ruining countless lives and placing a heavy burden on our citizens,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “I am grateful for the dedicated men and women of law enforcement who continue to fight the scourge of meth and other deadly drugs. I am proud to stand alongside them in this battle for the safety of our communities across the 8th judicial circuit.”