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DECEMBER 29, 2010

Officer C. Malphrus & Scout
Officer R. Long & Dorian
(Jasper County Sun) There are two new police officers on paw-trol in Ridgeland ready to take a bite out of crime. Lance Cpl. Chris Malphrus and Patrolman Richard Long recently returned from Virginia with two new K-9s, trained to sniff out narcotics, protect their handlers and apprehend suspects.
Scout, a 2-and-a-half year old Belgian malinois, has big paw prints to fill as he takes over duty from the town’s first police dog, Tony, who is retiring. He is Malphrus’ new four-legged partner, looking for drugs on Interstate 95 in Ridgeland. The $9,000 dog was purchased through the American Society of Canine Handlers with money the town collected through narcotic and drug money seizures. Meanwhile, Tony, who Malphrus calls a “$50 million dog” because of all the narcotics and currency he helped police seize in his 11 years on the force, will continue to live with Malphrus and his family, along with Scout. Over his career, Malphrus estimates Tony earned the town many millions of dollars. “He’s basically worth his weight in gold,” Malphrus said.
And what did Tony get out of the deal? He was paid with kibble and a rubber ball that was his reward for a job well done. Plus, he enjoyed the job and still whines and howls when Malphrus leaves on patrol without him. “That’s his main goal in life, to work,” Malphrus said. Tony will still get regular training to keep him happy and sharp, but at his age, it was time to turn over the leash to a younger dog. That’s where Scout and Long’s 17-month old German shepherd come in.
The police officers went to the American Society of Canine Handlers recently for two weeks of training with their new partners and recently returned to town to continue intensive training here. Both dogs are young and a bit high-strung, but have all the makings of good police dogs since they were bred in Europe for that purpose and trained since they were puppies in specific skills. In addition to being able to sniff out drugs, chase down suspects and protect his handler, Dorian, who cost $9,600, can also be used for tracking. That makes him a good partner for Long, who was part of the bloodhound tracking team when he worked at the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office before joining Ridgeland P.D. one year ago this week. It also makes Dorian the only tracking dog assigned to a police agency in Jasper County. Malphrus hopes to eventually train Scout to track too.
The dogs aren’t only called out when needed. They ride shotgun – sort of – with kennels in the back of the patrol vehicles. “Every time we come to work, they’ll come to work with us,” Malphrus said. The dogs might have similar skills but their personalities are quite different. Dorian is very social with people but not other dogs – it’s an Alpha male thing. Scout likes other dogs but is not so fond of people. Both have been trained to voice commands and with hand signals.
They are already on duty, though they haven’t made any stops yet because the first couple of weeks are spent on extensive training. They’ll likely begin their real work this week. Among the drugs they can detect are marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and Ecstasy. They can be sent into a building to look for a barricaded suspect or help the officers chase down and catch fleeing bad guys.

DECEMBER 22, 2010

After leading Ridgeland police officers on a 20-mile high speed chase from Ridgeland to Hardeeville and back, Julie Heyward, 48, was finally stopped and arrested when she re-entered the city limits on Wednesday. Heyward, who is wanted on felony charges by Ridgeland police, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office was spotted driving a 2000 Honda in the city by Ridgeland Police Officer Delanty Langenfeld. Langenfeld stopped Heyward’s vehicle, police reports state, and made a traffic stop on East Adams Street at which time she gave her information to the officer before speeding away, initiating the pursuit along U.S. 17. Hardeeville police were notified and were able to clear the roads before Heyward arrived in the city limits turning off of U.S. 17 onto John Smith Road towards U.S. 278 according to Hardeeville police Captain Arnold Middleton. Once Heyward arrived back within the Ridgeland city limits, Ridgeland officers were able to bring an end to her escape efforts and the pursuit. There were no injuries and a Hardeeville police car sustained damages as a result of Heyward’s driving, according to Middleton. Heyward was arrested and is being held at the Jasper County Detention Center.

DECEMBER 14, 2010

RIDGELAND, SC (WTOC) – Tuesday afternoon, Ridgeland Police Chief Richard Woods handed over the keys to a 20 passenger van to the Boys and Girls Club of Jasper County. Police were able to donate the $23,000 vehicle thanks to their hard work in seizing millions of dollars worth of assets from drug trafficking activity along their stretch of Interstate 95. Police say its a win-win situation. “It’s the one cause in Jasper County, where it could help everybody, it would impact everybody’s lives,” said Chief Woods. “These kids are the next generation and if we can get them headed into the right direction we’ve done something good.” “It means a lot to Jasper County because we’re so rural and now our kids who can’t swim can have swim lessons,” said The Boys and Girls Club Board President, Heather Davis. “We can take our teens on college tours to get them motivated to bring home good grades and to go to college.”
Since this is the club’s first vehicle, they will now be able to go on many field trips they haven’t been able to go on before. In addition to the van, Chief Woods says his officers will volunteer at the club in an anti-drug program to help the children as well.

Over 100Lbs of Marijuana Seized
AUGUST 11, 2010

Nylsa Castellanos

Anny Mojica

Two women were arrested after being found in possession of approximately 100 pounds of Marijuana.
Just before 9:00 am, Ridgeland Police officers conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 95, on a Blue Honda Mini van driven by 48 year old Nylsa Castellanos of Miami Florida and 39 year old Anny Mojica (owner/passenger) of Miami Florida. Nylsa Castellanos and Anny Mojica were en route from Florida to New York. The vehicle was searched following a canine alert, four duffle bags containing several bags of Marijuana were located. The Marijuana had an estimated weight of one hundred pounds with a street value of $350,000.00.
Both suspects have been charged with Trafficking in Marijuana. The suspects are being held at the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting bond.

Lt. D. Litchfield

Armed Robbery / Vehicle Pursuit
AUGUST 8, 2010

27 year old, Randall Joey Futch, of Georgia was arrested after leading officers on a 3 mile chase.
A white male did commit an armed robbery at the Lawton Oil gas station in Hardeeville SC. The suspect then fled the store, got in a burgundy vehicle, and was witnessed entering I-95 north. Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputy J. Jenkins was standing by at the 13 mile marker turn around, and did witness the vehicle pass. Jenkins then pulled behind the vehicle, and did have dispatch run the tag. The Georgia vehicle plate, did return as a stolen vehicle. Jenkins did have deputies Wilbur, and Atwood standing by at exit 18 to assist in a traffic stop. Ridgeland Police Officer’s were requested to standby further up the interstate with Stop Sticks in case the vehicle did attempt to run.
Deputy Jenkins, Deputy Atwood, and Deputy Wilber did attempt to stop the vehicle, however the driver did not stop. Ridgeland Police Officer, Kevin Smith did deploy stop sticks (controlled tire deflation equipment) at the 19 north mile marker. The vehicle did strike the Stop Sticks causing the front driver’s side tire to go deflate.
The vehicle did exit the Interstate at exit 21. At this point, Ridgeland Police Officers did take the lead of the chase in order to keep the vehicle from entering the town. The driver then attempted to re-enter the Interstate, however his vehicle struck the curb, and drove into the ditch of the 21 north bound entrance ramp. Futch was arrested without further incident. The vehicle, a 1996 Chrysler, was confirmed to be stolen, and a pistol was recovered from the vehicle, also reported stolen.

Lt. D. Litchfield

Murder Suspect Arrested
AUGUST 2, 2010

A man and two women were arrested after a traffic stop uncovered a wanted murder suspect, a stolen pistol, marijuana, pills and cocaine.

Just before 4:30PM August 02, 2010, Ridgeland Police officer Chris Malphrus conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 95 on a silver Jeep Commander for unlawful lane change and no headlights in the rain.

The driver of the vehicle was 24 year old Efrain Lopez, Jr., of Woburn Massachusetts, the passengers were 21 year old Stephanie Detomasi of Woburn Massachusetts and 33 year old Ilonka Indira Hernandez of Salem New Hampshire. Upon requesting the driver’s license and registration, Lopez admitted he did not have a license and never had a license. There was an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle as well as a handgun in plain view on top of the middle row seat which was folded down which initiated a probable cause search of the vehicle. The driver was handcuffed for officer safety at which time he attempted to flee and resisted arrest. A short struggle followed at which time Officer Malphrus was able to subdue Lopez.

A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of a handgun, approximately 5 grams of cocaine, approximately 15 grams of marijuana, multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia, approximately eight pills of what is believed to be oxycodone or other controlled substance, a marijuana grinder and a ceramic pipe used for smoking Marijuana.

It was determined after the incident that, Efrain Lopez was wanted for Homicide by the Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Division, and the firearm has been reported as a stolen firearm from the City of Cambridge Police Department, Massachusetts.

Efrain Lopez has been charged: Fugitive from justice, Resisting arrest, Possession of a stolen Firearm, Possession of Marijuana, possession of unlawful weapon and possession of Cocaine.

Stephanie Detomasi has been charged: Possession of Marijuana, possession of prescription pills, possession of unlawful weapon and possession of a stolen firearm

Ilonka Hernandez has been charged: simple possession of Marijuana, possession of stolen firearm and possession of an unlawful weapon.

Lt. D. Litchfield

Pursuit of a Stolen Vehicle
JUNE 17, 2010

Shaun J. Sumons and Fred Barker, both of Whitehall New York, were arrested after leading officers on a short pursuit in a stolen vehicle.

While patrolling on Interstate 95, Officer Gibson of the Ridgeland Police Department ran a check of a New York tag being displayed on a blue Toyota Scion. As the vehicle quickly exited I-95, in an apparent attempt to flee from Officer Gibson, Ridgeland Officers were informed that the vehicle was reported stolen out of New York.

Officer Chris McIntosh located the vehicle on U.S. Hwy 17 at Adams Street and activated his blue lights in an attempt to conduct a felony traffic stop. The driver, Shaun J. Symons, failed to stop, and lead officers on a short vehicle pursuit through Ridgeland.

Ridgeland Officers followed the vehicle until it struck a small tree on Adams Street, causing both airbags to deploy. Symons and the passenger, Fred Barker, both jumped out of the vehicle and ran in an attempt to evade capture. Barker was apprehended immediately by Officer R. Long, while Symons led Officers on a short foot pursuit through a nearby wooded area.

Ridgeland Police, along with Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputies, created a perimeter around the area, while Officer Gibson and Officer Malphrus, with K9 Tony, continued the pursuit into the thick wooded area. Symons was spotted by perimeter Deputies J. Hunnicutt and Lt. Gaillard, and taken into custody without further incident.

The New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, has been notified of the arrest, and stated they will be requesting extradition papers to bring the suspects back to New York to face criminal charges of four counts of Grand Larceny and two counts of Burglary. The New York State Division of Parole has already violated Symons.

No injuries were reported as a result of this incident. All suspects are being held at the Jasper County Detention Center pending trial and extradition.

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