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Heroin trafficker sentenced to 15 years after drugs confiscated in Harbison area

Chancellor D. Montgomery, a 24 year old Lexington County man, has pled guilty to trafficking heroin. Montgomery was sentenced to 15 years without parole during his plea today in Lexington County General Sessions Court. Trafficking heroin is classified under South Carolina law as a violent crime and is a “no parole” offense.

Montgomery’s arrest followed a routine traffic stop by Columbia Police Department Officer Steven Sulser at 300 Harbison Boulevard, in close proximity to Columbiana Centre. This section of Harbison is within the jurisdiction of Lexington County. Montgomery was found to be in possession of 56 grams of heroin, a large quantity of cocaine, and bundles of the psycho-stimulant bath salts known by the street name “flakka.” Montgomery was also in possession of two loaded .380 handguns, digital scales used for weighing drugs, and $1,170.00 in cash.  The street value of the recovered drugs is estimated to be over ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars.

Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “Our approach to the heroin and opioid epidemic is multifaceted. First, to eliminate the dealers and suppliers from our streets. Secondly, to offer treatment programs such as Drug Court for those who are addicted and seeking recovery.” Evidence found during the investigation of Montgomery, including an extraction of his cell phone, confirmed that he was a dealer with multiple connections in the Midlands area.

Officer Sulser conducted the traffic stop on May 16, 2016, around 10:30 pm. Montgomery was driving a Dodge van with two female passengers. After approaching the vehicle and identifying a strong odor of marijuana, Sulser conducted a search of the interior of the vehicle. Sulser located the bag of heroin on top of an open duffle bag. Inside the duffle bag were separate packages containing over 17 grams of cocaine and 50 tablets of the designer drug known as “flakka.” The tablets were tested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and determined to be a Schedule I substituted cathinone, which acts as a psycho-stimulant and can cause hallucinations. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration website (www.dea.gov) has issued warnings about the effects of bath salts, including effects such as “acute psychosis, agitation, combativeness, aggressive, violent, and self-destructive behavior.”

Montgomery was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was on probation at the time for burglary – third degree and breaking and entering into an automobile.

Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes and Assistant Solicitor Bradley Pogue handled the prosecution of this case on behalf of the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Montgomery is being transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin service of his sentence immediately.