Rock Hill man back in jail after second drug bust in a few months

Alleged drug trafficker arrested in high-end Rock Hill community

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - A York County judge sent a Rock Hill man back to jail until his trial after agents with the York County multijurisdictional drug unit found high quantities of dangerous drugs at his home in a high-end Rock Hill neighborhood.

Hardy Lanier, 43, lives on Cavendale Drive in the WedgeWood neighborhood off of Herlong Avenue in Rock Hill. Neighbors say he was a kind businessman who worked from home. But they started noticing several cars stopping by at odd hours of the night.

“We had a neighbor that was saying ‘oh they are selling drugs’,” Resident Susan VanZille said. “So we started paying attention to what was going on.”

Drug agents executed a warrant at Lanier’s home in August and find significant amounts of drugs, including more than 3 pounds of the drug that’s known as the date rape drug, methamphetamine, ecstasy and four guns. Lanier faced additional charges because he was in possession of the drugs within half a mile of a school. Agents say York Road Elementary School is less than half a mile away.

“It was just so surprising because he seemed like such an average guy, just a nice guy,” VanZille said.

On August 31, 2018 Lanier posted a $140,000 bond. Judge William McKinnon set the bond and ordered him to be on house arrest. Lanier has been complying with the electronic monitoring system, according to his attorney Leeland Greeley.

After more complaints to law enforcement, the same drug agents that arrested him in August went poking around his house. They sifted through his garbage and found ‘multiple syringes’ with what is believed to be methamphetamine inside of them.

They executed another search warrant on December 13th and found more drugs in his home. Lanier was arrested again, but got out of jail shortly after. A magistrate set his bond at $40,000 for the second round of charges.

Assistant Solicitor Aaron Hayes filed a motion requesting Lanier’s original bond of $140,000 be revoked.

“We believe that he is a danger to the community,” Hayes said Thursday in court. “Your honor, this is a clear case of someone violating their bond and has no intent of complying with any bond.”

Greeley argued that his client was not a danger to the public because he had not been out in public since August, except for visits to Greeley’s office which are permitted. Greeley also claimed by granting the motion it would be setting a ‘dangerous precedent’ that undermines the ability of magistrates.

“It doesn’t need to be a system that if the state doesn’t like the bond set by the magistrate, they can come to the state court to get a different ruling,” Greeley said to the court Thursday.

Judge William McKinnon said the motion is not undermining the magistrate who set Lanier’s second bond because the motion was to revoke the Lanier’s first bond, which was set by Judge McKinnon back in August. He granted the Solicitor’s request.

“I also believe that there is a danger to the public given the quantity of those drugs involved,” McKinnon said.

Lanier was sent back to jail and will remain there until his trial. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.

Neighbors who knew Lanier say they hurt for his family and hope that he gets the help he needs.

“I think this proves that drugs are everywhere and we just have to be alert,” VanZille said.

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