CAMDEN, SC (WLTX) -- A six-month investigation conducted jointly between the DEA and the Kershaw and Fairfield County Sheriff Departments resulted in two Camden men arrested for trafficking crack cocaine.
36-year-old Katrell Cooke and 32-year-old Tarik Omar Shiggs, both residents of Camden, face multiple counts of trafficking crack cocaine and distribution of crack cocaine.
Both men were allegedly well known crack dealers in Kershaw County, and earlier this year, narcotics investigators launched a focused effort to observe and document the two men's activities. The investigation collected tips from Camden-area community members, hours of surveillance, along with several controlled buys done by undercover DEA and Fairfield County Sheriff's Deputies.
The controlled buys, funded by the Drug Enforcement Administration, were for large quantities of crack cocaine.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews says this narcotics investigation, and resulting arrests, will have a significant impact on the improvement of the community as a whole.
"While the Kershaw County Sheriff's office responds to citizen complaints of drug dealing at any level, these two are especially significant. We believe that Katrell Cooke and Tarik Shiggs were the two largest suppliers of crack cocaine in Kershaw County. They supplied the smaller dealers, and have been doing so for a long time," Sheriff Matthews said.
Shiggs arrest history includes several narcotics arrests, kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary, and trafficking cocaine.
Cooke's criminal background demonstrates a much more extensive narcotics, and violent background, with multiple arrests related tot he distribution of crack cocaine, including distribution of crack cocaine in close proximity to a school, assault and battery, assault and battery with intent to kill, threatening the life of a person or family of an Official, and lynching.
"These arrests put a huge dent in the availability of crack cocaine in Kershaw County, at least for the short term," Sheriff Matthews said. "We will relentlessly pursue whoever ultimately replaces these two men. Our goal is to lock up these drug dealers, or make them take their business someplace else."
The two men were denied bond Thursday evening.
If you are aware of drug deals happening where you are, you can provide an anonymous tip to Midlands CRIMESTOPPERS by calling: 888-CRIME-SC.