Date: May 10, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Columbia, SC — Darryl Hemphill of Rock Hill, pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Rock Hill Police Department 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 Hemphill was the leader of the group and helped introduce other members of the group to the California distributor. After the drugs were shipped back to South Carolina, Hemphill and others distributed the drugs to local dealers. Later, the group began ordering fentanyl from California which they used to make fentanyl-laced pills which were sold to users in Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. Based upon their investigation, 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, one kilogram or more of heroin, and more than a 1000 grams of marijuana. Eighteen defendants were charged in this case. Twelve defendants have pled guilty to their involvement with five defendants awaiting trial. Hemphill faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis accepted the guilty plea and will sentence him after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office. The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), City of Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff's Department, and Richland County Sheriff's Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William K. Witherspoon, T. DeWayne Pearson, and Elliott Daniels are prosecuting the case.