(Richland County) - Richland deputies with the Richland County Drug Suppression Team responded to a call at Riverside Apartments on Lucius Road in Richland County about 8 p.m. Thursday night to find what they call an attempted drug deal taking place between several people.
When deputies moved in to make an arrest, they say they saw a male suspect pull a gun from his waistband and fire one round that did not hit anyone. Lt. Chris Cowan with the Richland County Sheriff's Department says the man received a powder burn to his thigh. Deputies say they were able to restrain the man, and they are treating the wound as "self-inflicted."
Investigators recovered two vehicles, including a Ford Explorer, and a Toyota Camry, two handguns, two kilograms of cocaine, a bag of crack cocaine, nine smaller bags of powder cocaine, seven small bags of marijuana, one larger bag of marijuana, and $5,867 in cash.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the Richland County Sheriff's Department continued the investigation throughout the night in an effort to determine if others may be involved in dealing drugs and the possible location of more narcotics.
Lott said that with the help of the Saluda County Sheriff's Department and Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration they were able to recover one additional kilo of cocaine and one additional weapon from a house in Saluda County.
Deputies arrested 26-year-old Rodney Sentell Pettitrew of Columbia and charged him with trafficking cocaine, unlawful carry of a pistol, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possession of a stolen gun. Investigators say Pettitrew was the suspect who was burned with his own gun.
They also arrested 30-year-old John Edward Garrett of Columbia, and charged him with trafficking cocaine, unlawful carry of a pistol, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Deputies arrested 28-year-old William Holley of Columbia, 24-year-old Efrain Rios Torres of Saluda, 25-year-old Hector Jimenez of Saluda, 27-year-old Jose Jimenez of Saluda and charged each of them with trafficking cocaine. All six men were arrested Thursday night at Lucius Road.