Rock Hill man sentenced in large drug trafficking conspiracy


Date: June 22, 2023


Darrell Lemonte Crockett, of Rock Hill, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after being convicted at trial in a large drug trafficking case.

Evidence presented at the trial showed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit began to investigate a group of defendants who were obtaining large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana from a distributor in Southern California. Based upon their investigation, the police were able to determine that members of the group were flying to California and having the drugs shipped back to the Rock Hill and Charlotte, N.C., area. Based upon surveillance and other law enforcement techniques, the police learned that Darryl Hemphill was the leader of the group and helped introduce other members of the group to the California distributor. Crockett was a member of the conspiracy and was involved in obtaining some of the packages when they were shipped from California back to the Rock Hill and Charlotte area. After the drugs were shipped back to South Carolina, Hemphill and others distributed the drugs to local dealers. Crockett was also responsible for distributing some of the drugs shipped.

Later, the group began ordering fentanyl from California, which they used to make fentanyl-laced pills that were sold to users in Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, G.A.. Based upon their investigation, law enforcement showed that this group shipped more than 255 packages from California and distributed more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 1 kilogram or more of heroin, and more than 1000 grams of marijuana.

Crockett was convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl. Crockett was also convicted of possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams of crack cocaine during a drug deal at Hemphill's home.

Eighteen defendants were initially charged in this case. Fifteen defendants pleaded guilty to their involvement, and Crockett and two other defendants were found guilty by a jury. Two defendants remain to be sentenced.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Crockett to 240 months in prison, to be followed by a 5-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Visit their website for additional information about the OCDETF Program.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff's Office, and Richland County Sheriff's Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William K. Witherspoon, Elliott B. Daniels, Elle E. Klein, and Lamar Fyall prosecuted the case.