$4 million worth of marijuana confiscated from Hanahan industrial warehouse

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Two men are behind bars after nearly a thousand pounds of marijuana worth four million dollars was confiscated at an industrial warehouse in Hanahan.

“I can tell you this is the largest marijuana seizure in the history of the Hanahan Police Department," Chief Dennis Turner said Tuesday.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 48-year-old Joseph Francis McLaughlin and 41-year-old David Thomas Barber.

Their arrest stems from an parcel investigation on Dec. 21, 2018 into suspicious ground freight being shipped to an industrial warehouse location in Hanahan.

“The NTF began observation and conducted surveillance on the incident location and observed McLaughlin and Barber arriving to the warehouse,” BCSO officials said.

According to a report, a detective made contact with the suspects which resulted in both of them being detained while search warrants were obtained.

The sheriff’s office said once the search warrants were received, 896 pounds of high-grade marijuana was located and seized, along with a vehicle, handgun and US currency.

“We’re taking very seriously the drug problem in our community and we are going to do whatever we can do to eliminate that," Turner said.

The recovered property includes:

  • 896 pounds of marijuana 
  • 1999 Ford F350 Dually Pickup Truck
  • Ruger LCP .380 Handgun
  • $3,120.00 in US Currency

The sheriff’s office says the street value of the seized marijuana is approximately four million dollars.

McLaughlin is charged with trafficking marijuana (100lb-2000lb), possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent crime, possession of ammunition by a person convicted of a violent crime.

McLaughlin is also facing additional charges in Charleston County. Barber is charged with trafficking marijuana (100lb-2000lb).

BCSO officials said the case was the result of investigative work done by the Berkeley County Narcotics Task Force (NTF). The Berkeley County Narcotics Task Force is made up of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, City of Hanahan Police Department, Moncks Corner Police Department, and the City of Goose Creek Police Department.

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