York County man pleads guilty to federal drug conspiracy


Date: April 3, 2024

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Columbia, SC — DeQavion Keyon DaJohn DeShae Cook of Rock Hill, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that agents learned that between 2015 and 2023, Cook was responsible for selling drugs that were obtained from Darryl Hemphill. Agents learned the drugs obtained from Hemphill included crystal methamphetamine and pills that resembled 30 mg Oxycodone tablets, also known in the generic form as Roxicodone. The pills were produced by Hemphill and/or others with fentanyl at various locations in the Rock Hill and Charlotte region. As Hemphill was the leader of this organization, he was supplying the drugs to Cook who was incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections at that time.

The agents used multiple investigative techniques to determine the quantity of drugs provided to Cook while he was incarcerated in SCDC. Cook used his brother to obtain the pills and methamphetamine from Hemphill in Rock Hill and take the drugs to a correctional officer who would conceal the drugs and take them to Cook inside of the prison.

Cook faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $5,000,000 and four years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Cook after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office. Cook’s sentence on this offense will begin after he completes his current federal sentence for another federal violation.

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.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI), FBI Columbia Field Office, York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office, and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney William K. Witherspoon is prosecuting the case.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.