Brandy O’Neal Harris, a 32-year-old Leesville man, pled guilty to two counts of trafficking methamphetamine on March 30, 2023, for charges in Lexington County and Saluda County. Circuit Court Judge Walton J. McLeod, IV, accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Harris to eighteen (18) years on both trafficking charges to be served concurrently. Under South Carolina law, trafficking methamphetamine is classified as a violent, serious, and “no parole” offense.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Kelly Oppenheimer and investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Enforcement Team.
On October 13, 2022, an officer with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department was running routine patrol on Lee Street in the Leesville area of Lexington County when he observed Harris driving his vehicle with an expired tag. A traffic stop was conducted and Harris gave consent to search his vehicle. During the search of his vehicle, the officer found 137 grams of methamphetamine concealed in a bag of barbeque chips in the passenger area of the vehicle. Defendant was the sole occupant of the vehicle. After Harris was provided with his Miranda warnings, he did admit to the substance found in his car as being methamphetamine and admitted that it was his.
Agents with Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Enforcement Team became involved in this case. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Harris was a key player in illegal narcotics ending up in the streets of Lexington County, Saluda County, and other surrounding counties. The investigation also revealed that Harris would acquire his drugs from out of state. Harris resided in the Leesville area of Saluda County at the time of his arrest. Agents worked with the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office to execute a lawful search warrant on Harris’ home. During the search, officers found the remainder of Harris’s stash of methamphetamine as well as several grams of fentanyl and various weapons.
In South Carolina, any quantity over 100 grams of methamphetamine is classified as trafficking. Harris has been transported to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to serve his prison sentence.