Deputies: Clemson students among 19 arrested in drug operation - KPTV - FOX 12

Deputies: Clemson students among 19 arrested in drug operation

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Some of the cash, fake ID machine and drugs deputies seized. (Dec. 12, 2012/Pickens Co. Sheriff's Office) Some of the cash, fake ID machine and drugs deputies seized. (Dec. 12, 2012/Pickens Co. Sheriff's Office)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies said they arrested 19 people following a six-month-long drug investigation, 11 of whom are Clemson University students.

Pickens County deputies said they made the sweep of arrests on Wednesday on various drug charges including the sale of marijuana and the sale of controlled substances near a school or day care. A total of 66 warrants were served.

SLIDESHOW: Mugshots of some of the suspects arrested

In addition to the arrests, deputies seized $6,351 in cash, more than 289 grams of high-grade marijuana worth more than $5,000, a handgun that was reported stolen from Oconee County, three long guns and various electronic equipment, including a professional grade ID card machine capable of placing a hologram on ID cards, which was used to make fake identification cards.

Aaron Ransdell, a junior at Clemson, whose girlfriend lived a few doors down from one of the suspects, said students received an email from the university explaining what happened. He said he was not surprised about the marijuana charges.

"The cops were undercover for six months; I kinda felt like more [people] than that would be arrested," Ransdell said.

The email was the second in a week, after Clemson student Stephen Grich was killed. Investigators said he died because the suspects were trying to steal marijuana from his roommate.

Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan said it was just a coincidence that the drug operation ended so close to the time of the murder. He said the cases are not specifically related but that law enforcement is trying to prevent tragedies like that with busts like these.

Pickens County deputies were assisted in the investigation by the Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Clemson University Police, Clemson City police and the State Law Enforcement Division.

Deputies said they have active warrants for four more people who were not arrested on Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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