Laurens drug trafficker sentenced to 15 years behind bars

Zachary Strange

Laurens, S.C.; June 18, 2020 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo announced Thursday that a Gray Court man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in trafficking methamphetamine in Laurens County. 

Zachary Strange, 21, of Gray Court, pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute (PWID) methamphetamine, and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

Strange was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Donald Hocker as part of a plea agreement.  Due to the nature of the charges, Strange will be required to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for release.

The first incident occurred in August 2018.  Officers were conducting an undercover narcotics operation in Laurens.  During the operation, Strange was arrested with 9.87 grams of Methamphetamine in his possession.

In May 2019, while out on bond for the first arrest, Strange was driving a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Greenville County.  Strange bailed out of the vehicle when pursued by deputies, who discovered 211 grams of meth in the abandoned car.  Strange was found by the deputies a short time later and taken into custody.

Senior Assistant Solicitor Wade Dowtin prosecuted the case, with assistance from 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Investigator Walter Bentley.  Strange was represented by Deputy Public Defender Chelsea McNeill.

Solicitor Stumbo also praised the work of narcotics investigators Charles Nations and Matt Veal, as well as fellow deputies from Laurens County Sheriff’s Office in helping secure the conviction in the case. 

“Hard street-level drugs like meth, heroin, and fentanyl are taking a wrecking ball to our communities in Laurens County,” said Solicitor Stumbo after the hearing.  “Anyone who profits from the trafficking of these drugs must be stopped and held accountable, and we hope that this long sentence sends a message to those who are committing these crimes before it is too late for them.”

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