Richland deputies have arrested three men responsible for an area burglary ring, following a four-month investigation, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
Michael Smalls, 24, was arrested at his Southern Drive residence on April 21, 2017, according to deputies. He is charged with 7 counts of burglary, 6 counts of larceny, 3 counts of possession of a stolen weapon, 2 counts of receiving stolen goods, 1 count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, and 1 count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine within a half mile of a school.
Jamel Burgess, 18, is charged with 3 counts of burglary and 2 counts of grand larceny. Burgess was already in custody on unrelated charges in Calhoun County when warrants were served on him in May, according to investigators.
Thaddeus Peterson, 19, was arrested at his Levity Street home on June 25, 2017, and is charged with 2 counts of burglary and 2 counts of grand larceny, say deputiues.
Investigators say community tips assisted them in identifying Smalls as a suspect in a February 2017 burglary at the Village of Columbia, located at 1051 Southern Drive. During a search warrant of Smalls’ residence, deputies say they found 18 small bags of cocaine, along with handguns, laptops, iPads, cell phones and game consoles.
Investigators say they were then able to link those stolen items to six additional burglaries throughout Richland County, Kershaw County, Irmo, and the City of Columbia. Deputies say they were then able to identify Burgess and Peterson, who aided Smalls in the crime spree.
All three suspects face additional charges with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department and the Irmo Police Department. They have been transported to the Alvin S Glenn Detention Center.