Couple wanted by SC police arrested at Lexington County motel

John Randal Johnston, Jr. and Debra Lynn Gilman
John Randal Johnston, Jr. and Debra Lynn Gilman Lexington County Sheriff's Department

Lexington County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and a woman wanted by Calhoun County on May 22, according to a news release from the department.

While conducting a “routine patrol” at Knights Inn motel on Bush River Road in Lexington County, police say they found heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and meth in John Randal Johnston Jr.’s car, according to the release.

The 48-year-old Lexington resident admitted to police that he had drugs and a weapon in his vehicle, according to the release. Deputies obtained a search warrant and arrested and charged Johnston with multiple drug charges and with possessing a weapon during a violent crime.

Sheriff’s department spokesperson Adam Myrick said the second charge was because of the amount of heroin and meth in Johnston’s car. Johnston will be charged with drug trafficking those two substances, which is considered a violent crime under the law — and he possessed a weapon.

Johnston was with Debra Lynn Gilman, 47, from Massachussetts, at the motel. Police say Gilman told them she was wanted on an active bench warrant out of Calhoun County. Gilman was arrested and charged with possession of less than a gram of meth, according to the release.

Both were taken to Lexington County Detention Center, the news release said.

Isabella Cueto is a bilingual multimedia journalist covering Lexington County, one of the fastest-growing areas of South Carolina. She previously worked as a reporter for the Medill Justice Project and WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, where she studied journalism and theatre arts.