South Carolina

No charges in police info leaked to Thug Life. But now we know who runs the website

An investigation into a website that leaked the name of a juvenile charged in a killing along with other confidential police information has ended without any charges filed, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

The probe into the Thug Life website that criticized both criminals and prosecutors the site thought were too weak on crime started after the site released the name of a 15-year-old suspect in a 2015 killing. State law bans authorities from releasing the names of juvenile suspects until they are charged as adults.

But the SLED investigation did solve one mystery – the blogger nicknamed “Chief” who ran the site was former North Charleston Police Sgt. Ray Garrison, who was fired in 2011 after testing positive for cocaine, according to the report obtained by The Post and Courier of Charleston.

The website wrote profane, racially tinged posts about criminals while accusing the criminal justice system of being weak on crime and criticizing how media outlets covered crime stories.

The criminal investigation by SLED started after the leak of the name of the teen who was one of several suspects in the mistaken identity killing of Kedena Brown in North Charleston in 2015.

The teen’s public defender suspected the leak had to come from police or other authorities and subpoenaed records that led to David Kornahrens, who was at the time a Hanahan policeman and was Thug Life’s webmaster, according to the SLED report.

Kornahrens told agents he never leaked any information, SLED said. But the data from his servers and other phone and text message records showed Garrison corresponded with several North Charleston police officers around the time the teen’s name was leaked.

Prosecutors at the state Attorney General’s Office reviewed the SLED report and determined there was no concrete proof any of the officers sent the information to Garrison. And they all denied any wrongdoing.

Garrison did not respond to several attempts by the newspaper to reach him for comment.

North Charleston officials are reviewing the SLED report to see if any of the officers should face internal discipline.