Crime & Courts

Columbia man convicted of dealing drugs in and near Martin Luther King Park, could get life in prison

Aerial view of Martin Luther King Park in Columbia, SC
Aerial view of Martin Luther King Park in Columbia, SC Google Maps

A 35-year-old Columbia man, arrested after a two-year investigation into drug dealing and illegal guns in South Columbia’s Martin Luther King Park and Greene Street areas, was convicted Thursday on 11 federal drug and weapons charges.

Emanuel Cheeseboro (aka Mandoo) was videotaped in 2014 selling crack cocaine and bragging about his laser-sited handgun to undercover drug agents at several houses near the park, U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said in a news release.

A search of a house tied to Cheeseboro turned up crack cocaine, marijuana and scales, Drake said.

Cheeseboro was arrested on June 8, 2016, sitting in a car parked at a house called “the Hole.” The driver of the car told police that Cheeseboro asked her to hide crack cocaine on her person. Police also found a pistol under the car seat and marijuana in the car’s trunk.

Cheeseboro was arrested along with more than 30 other people during the local-state-federal investigation called Operation Green Light. The investigation was launched after citizen complaints about illegal activities in and around the South Columbia park.

He was found guilty after a three-day trial in federal court in Columbia. He could be sent to prison for life when sentenced at a later date by United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr..