Loris man gets 9 years in prison after police bust drug operation at hotel

A Loris man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison Thursday after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges in a federal court in Florence.

Twenty-eight-year-old Emmanuel Lamar Bellamy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with an intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, crack and oxycodone, according to a Thursday release from United States Attorney Beth Drake.

District Judge R. Bryan Harwell senteced Bellamy to prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

Evidence presented at hearings established that members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Horry County Police Department were investigating illegal drug activity in the Loris area when investigators found Bellamy’s operation, according to the release.

As part of that investigation, agents made two controlled buys of crack cocaine from Bellamy in October and November 2015, the release states.

Agents were investigating a tip that Bellamy and others were using a hotel in Loris “for illegal drug activity” on Sept. 7, 2016, according to the release. “Agents set up surveillance ... and observed Bellamy entering and leaving the hotel. Agents stopped Bellamy as he drove away from the hotel.”

Investigators say Bellamy fled the scene in his vehicle and led agents on a brief chase before his car collided with another vehicle ending the chase.

At that point, a passenger in Bellamy’s vehicle jumped out and fled the scene but was apprehended, according to the release. “Bellamy and the passenger were arrested. Officers searched Bellamy and found over $3,000 in cash on him.”

Police also searched the vehicle and found marijuana and oxycodone pills, according to the release. A firearm and drugs were found near where the passenger was apprehended, authorities said, and a room key to the hotel was found in Bellamy’s possession.

Agents obtained a search warrant for the hotel room and located nearly 800 grams of cocaine, 78 grams of crack cocaine, $80,000 in cash, two handguns and more oxycodone pills, according to the release.

The case was investigated by agents with ATF and HCPD. Assistant United States Attorney Chris Taylor of the Florence office prosecuted the case.

Emily Weaver: 843-444-1722, @TSNEmily