Grant expands drug unit into Georgetown

The 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit will be expanding into Georgetown County with a $160,000 grant, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

The state Department of Public Safety has awarded the Bureau of Justice Assistance grant, which can be renewed up to five years, for the purpose of expanding the unit, said Solicitor Greg Hembree.

The 15th Circuit DEU has operated in Horry County for five years, resulting in arrests and the confiscation of millions of dollars of illegal drugs, according to the solicitor's office.

Hembree said all narcotics officers with the Andrews, Georgetown city and Georgetown County policedepartments are committed to the DEU.

According to the solicitor's office, this will be the first time in the state that a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement unit has undertaken multicounty, circuit-wide jurisdiction and enforcement.

"This is the first time we have used this concept to cover the entire circuit unit," Hembree said. "There are no jurisdiction boundaries."

Hembree said the little more than $160,000 grant will allow them to add a deputy commander to manage the Georgetown unit, to house the unit in Georgetown and to provide equipment to the unit such as surveillance equipment.