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The U.S. Attorney's Office shed new light Thursday on charges facing 18 Beaufort-area residents accused by the Drug Enforcement Administration of conspiring to sell and distribute cocaine and prescription pills.
A federal grand-jury indictment naming the suspects allegedly involved in the drug ring was unsealed Thursday, a day after more than half of them were arrested by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, DEA agents and U.S. marshals. They were transferred to Charleston to attend a court hearing Thursday, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center log.
All 18 "knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire and agree to ... unlawfully possess with intent to sell and distribute ... Oxycodone and cocaine" between July 2011 and this month, according to the indictment.
The two-page indictment did not elaborate on the crimes, and Peter Phillips, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, declined to comment.
All are from the Beaufort area, and nearly all have prior arrests in Beaufort County, according to court records.
Wallace, Hudson, Williams, Parker, Slowik and Jason Heape Harriott were the only suspects in the case not arrested Wednesday. It was unclear Thursday whether they had been arrested elsewhere or remained at large.
Filbert was already jailed after being charged by Beaufort police in May with forgery, bribery and criminal conspiracy, according to the jail log.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said others may still be charged in the case.
If convicted, those named in the indictment face between 20 and 30 years in prison.