South Carolina

He organized a drug trafficking ring from an SC cell. Now, 2 head to federal prison

Inmates of the SCDC
Inmates of the SCDC

Two men are facing time in federal prison after investigators busted a crystal methamphetamine ring that one was running from inside a South Carolina correctional institution, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Using a contraband cellphone, Ignacio Sandoval-Acosta, 47, organized shipments of meth to come from Mexico into South Carolina, along with help from accomplice Scott Terrill Hipp, 27, of Goose Creek, according to the statement.

Sandoval-Acosta was already serving a sentence for drug trafficking when he began involved in the ring, according to the statement. From prison, he coordinated large amounts of meth, cocaine, heroin and marijuana to come into the Palmetto State in packages.

One package seized by officials had 886 grams of meth, which was being shipped to Hipp, according to the statement. Another contained 853 grams of meth.

Sandoval-Acosta was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison, which he will begin serving after he finishes his state sentence in 2024, according to the statement. Hipp was sentenced to 120 months.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the S.C. Department of Corrections, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Emily Bohatch is a breaking news reporter for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.


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