Two Lexington County drug busts net almost 100 lbs. of marijuana, police say

Officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department stacked bags on bags on bags filled with marijuana on tables and a podium at their headquarters Thursday.

The weed came from one of two Lexington County busts that netted almost 100 pounds of marijuana along with other drugs, cash and guns on Thursday and Friday.

The Sheriff’s Department got the first bust on Thursday. The department got a tip about drug activity at a house in the 200 block of Crestridge Drive. That’s in a mobile home community near Red Bank.

Narcotics team deputies raided the house Thursday. Arriving at the house, they spoke with 26-year-old Javier Ayala. Deputies smelled marijuana as they spoke to him, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in a statement.

The deputies found almost 90 pounds of marijuana in Ayala’s bedroom, Koon said. They also seized four handguns and $26,000 in cash. Deputies charged Ayala with marijuana trafficking and weapon possession during a violent crime.

Trafficking marijuana is considered a violent crime in South Carolina.

The marijuana was estimated to have a street value of $455,000, Koon said.

On Friday, police with the police department of Springdale, which is north of Cayce and surrounds Platts Spring Road, tried to pull over a driver who didn’t make a full stop for a stop sign, the department said.

The driver sped off and officers chased after him, police said. The driver ran into a ditch after trying to make a turn. He tried to run away but officers caught him quickly.

In the car, police found almost 10 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other controlled substances as well as drug paraphernalia, according to the the department.

The department charged the man with seven offenses related to selling drugs as well as failure to stop for blue lights and driving with a suspended license.

The department did not identify the man charged but said he was from California.

Most drug trafficking charges are punishable by 25 years in prison or more.