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Federal judge sentences Swansea man to prison Thursday for drug conspiracy

Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) - A Lexington County man has been sentenced by a federal judge to 30 years in a federal penitentiary after he was charged with several counts of conspiring to distribute both heroin and methamphetamine. James C. Edgerton, IV, of Swansea, who is 35 years old, received the sentence in a Columbia federal court Thursday. Because there is no parole in the federal system, Edgerton would be 65 years old before he walks out of prison.

Edgerton pled guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute large quantities of drugs. He also entered the same plea for distributing heroin and methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. also sentenced Edgerton to five years of court-ordered supervision after his release.

According to investigators, the drugs were brought from the Atlanta, GA area through Edgerton’s network. Prosecutors described the quantity of drugs as a significant amount. Edgerton and his associates then distributed them in and around Columbia. The conspiracy charges stem from his working and planning with others to commit the crimes.

Multiple agencies were involved in the investigation of Edgerton’s activity. They include the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), deputies from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Columbia Police Department, and the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

During their investigation, Edgerton admitted to investigators he bought 15 kilos of ice from a supplier in Atlanta. Ice is a strong derivative of meth. Evidence collected by the team also proved that Edgerton moved multiple kilos of heroin through the same routes. Those drugs were then sold through an organized network here.

Edgerton will be evaluated by the federal penal system before being assigned to a prison. There are some in South Carolina and others spread across the country.

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