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Shoplifting and drug charged for 4 South Carolina men

A shoplifting arrest at a Wal-Mart led to drug and other charges for four South Carolina men. Law enforcement officers in Covington, Georgia, say that the men were trying to steal gaming cards valued at almost $1,000.

Three of the four men were still in the store at about 2 a.m., when law enforcement arrived. According to the store's website, it is open around the clock. However, one of the men allegedly ran out of the store when a Wal-Mart employee confronted him. When a sheriff's deputy located him in a wooded area, he allegedly admitted to taking over $900 worth of cards. According to police reports, he had 136 cards.

Officers reportedly asked one of the men if they could search his car. They said that when he refused, they brought in a police dog to sniff the exterior of the vehicle. Based on the dog's response, they searched the car for narcotics. They allegedly found multiple types of drugs, including Oxycontin, Buspirone hydrochloride, a jar of what they suspected to be marijuana and bags of pills they suspected were Xanax. They also found an unidentified white substance as well as a gun.

The four men, who range in age from 19 to 22, are facing a variety of charges. The man who allegedly left the store is charged with shoplifting. The other three are charged with obstruction of law enforcement officers. All four are charged with possession of a firearm while trying to commit crimes. All are facing multiple drug-related charges.

Officers also allegedly found several pieces of identification in one of the men's car that were in another person's name. These included two pieces of South Carolina identification and a Social Security card. It was not reported whether that man is facing charges related to those documents.

When multiple people are arrested together, it may be difficult for police to determine with accuracy who is guilty of what crime, if any. Defendants may be wise to seek individual legal counsel so that they can present their own case. Being in the proximity of those engaged in illegal activity is never wise, but no one should pay for crimes committed by others.

Source: Source: Newton Citizen, "S.C. men facing drug charges after attempted shoplifting," Aimee Jones, July 1, 2014

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