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West Columbia man sentenced to 20 years on narcotics and other related charges

After Chestnut entered his plea, Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin formally accepted it. She then sentenced Chestnut on all charges concurrently to his active prison sentence on a previous narcotic charge. Her sentence was as follows. She sentenced Chestnut to 20 years on both trafficking charges, 10 years on the possession with intent to distribute marijuana charge, and 3 years on the failure to stop for blue lights charge. Under South Carolina law, trafficking crack cocaine and trafficking cocaine are classified violent or “no parole” offenses. This means that Chestnut is not eligible for parole and will need to serve the entire sentence before he is eligible for release.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Kelly Oppenheimer and Deputy Solicitor Angela Martin. This case was investigated by the City of Cayce Police Department and the Springdale Police Department.

On April 16, 2022, eight days after Chestnut pled guilty to trafficking crack cocaine and was granted thirty 30 days to turn himself in to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, officers with the Springdale Police Department were doing routine property checks at the Red Roof Inn on Airport Boulevard in Springdale. During their property check, they observed a black motorcycle with a stretched-out wheel and no license plate. The police officers tried to talk with the Black man on the motorcycle. He was not wearing a helmet. He had on dark clothing and was carrying a black bookbag. During their conversation with the man on the motorcycle, the rider raced out of the hotel’s parking lot at a high rate of speed. The Springdale officers observed the rider’s direction and quickly radioed the description of both the rider and the motorcycle to the City of Cayce Police Department which abuts Springdale in that area.

Shortly after the description of the rider and motorcycle were broadcast over the radio, a City of Cayce police officer who was running routine patrol on the flyover of I-26 at the I-77 interchange, observed a male and motorcycle matching the description the Springdale officers had given. That motorcycle was travelling at speeds that were more than 100 mph. The Cayce officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the motorcycle, but instead of the rider pulling over, the individual fled. This started a pursuit that lasted approximately nine miles. It ended when the motorcyclist crashed on Atlas Road. Fortunately, the rider and motorcycle were the only vehicles involved in the crash.

After the crash. and during their subsequent investigation, officers identified Chestnut as the rider of the motorcycle. Police officers rendered first aid until EMS arrived and transported him to the hospital. Officers began a routine inventory of Chestnut’s property so that his things could be taken into custody and held for safekeeping. During that inventory, officers collected multiple cellphones, the clothing he was wearing, a GPS monitor that had been ordered placed on him by the court after his prior conviction, and Chestnut’s bookbag. Inside the bookbag, the officer found approximately thirty (30) grams of marijuana, two crack cookies, weighing approximately forty-four (44) grams, approximately twenty-four (24) grams of cocaine, a digital scale with white powder residue, two razor blades with white powder residue, and a burnt spoon containing white powder residue. The cocaine was individually packaged for sale. In a pocket in Chestnut’s jeans, the officer also found $1,102 in cash.

Chestnut has three prior convictions for trafficking narcotics, as well as five other convictions for the distribution of narcotics. He has been transferred to the SCDOC to begin his sentence.


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