Lexington Co. couple charged with possessing cocaine, cash, firearms

cwinston@thestate.comJanuary 15, 2014 

— Narcotics officers seized cocaine, cash and firearms and arrested a man and woman at a home near Swansea on Tuesday.

Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team officers seized 300 grams of cocaine seized worth about $30,000, more than $25,000 in cash, one gram of crack cocaine and eight firearms, according to a release from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

Rashawn Stafford Gatson, 34, and Tyvona Latrice Toland, 27, both of 505 Swansea Road, Swansea, were charged with trafficking in cocaine, possessing crack cocaine, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and possessing a firearm that had been reported stolen.

Both were held Wednesday at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling $200,000.

The eight firearms that were seized included one Fire Storm 9-mm handgun, one 140 Pro Taurus .40-caliber handgun, one Ruger .38-caliber handgun, one Glock .357-caliber handgun, one New England 12-gauge shotgun, one Savage 30-06 bolt-action rifle, one Mossberg semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle and one Marlin 30-30 lever-action rifle.

In addition to the drugs, weapons and cash, deputies seized surveillance footage, a surveillance camera, plastic bags and a money-counting machine.

Deputies initially went to Gatson’s home Tuesday to assist Lexington County Animal Services officers in executing a search warrant in connection with an investigation concerning the condition and treatment of dogs that Gatson owns. While executing the search warrant, officers and deputies saw a small digital scale on a table that contained a white powder that appeared to be cocaine.

Metts asked anyone with information about illegal drug activity in Lexington County to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (www.lexingtonsheriff.com).

NET is comprised of officers from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department and Lexington Police Department, Metts said. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance drug enforcement in Lexington County.

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