Greenwood drug dealer found guilty after absconding final day of trial, facing 30 years


GREENWOOD, S.C.; August 4, 2022 – A Greenwood man failed to show up for the final day of his trial and was found guilty in his absence of trafficking methamphetamine, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday.

Phillip Franklin Derrick, 40, appeared for the first two days of his trial on Monday and Tuesday, but failed to show up for the third and final day on Wednesday. The trial continued in his absence and a Greenwood County jury on Wednesday afternoon found Derrick guilty of trafficking methamphetamine, more than 28 grams but less than 100 grams.

Circuit Judge Donald Hocker issued a sentence and then sealed the sentence until Derrick can be caught and brought back before the court to have the sentence unsealed. Derrick’s criminal history includes a prior drug conviction and he faces a prison sentence of seven to 30 years when the sentence is unsealed.

In April 2018, agents with the Greenwood County Drug Enforcement Unit went to Derrick’s residence to serve a search warrant. Agents attempted to detain Derrick and he actively resisted having his hands cuffed. Agents were finally able to get Derrick cuffed, but he continued to resist a search of his person. After finding multiple small bags containing meth and numerous other items used to distribute narcotics inside a camper, agents placed Derrick under arrest and located a bag with nearly 25 grams of meth in his pants pocket.

Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown and Assistant Solicitor Madison Hoffman handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Blake Moore. Derrick was represented by William Yarbrough III of the Greenville County Bar.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with agents of the Greenwood County Drug Enforcement Unit, particularly former lead investigator Bryan Louis, in securing the conviction.

“Drug dealers like Phillip Derrick push their poison on the streets, and the ripple effect of destruction in its wake is horrific,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “We will spare no effort to make sure Derrick is found and locked up to serve his long sentence as soon as possible.”If you have any information of the whereabouts of Phillip Derrick, or if you see him, please call 911 immediately.

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