Three arrested after months-long investigation into drug ring near York County school

Three arrested after months-long investigation into drug ring near York County school

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Officials arrested three men after a months-long investigation into a drug ring being ran near a school in York county.

The York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit and Rock Hill Police Department executed a search warrant Thursday around 6:30 p.m.

The warrant was executed in the 2000 block of Cavendale Drive in Rock Hill as the result of a six-month investigation.

The officers recovered 12.25 ounces of methamphetamine, 135 dose units of Ecstasy,  54 ounces of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB and an assortment of pills including oxycodone.

Authorities also recovered four firearms, two handguns and two long guns.

The house on Cavendale Drive is within half a mile of York Road Elementary School.

Hardy Lanier, 43, Benjamin Earle, 32 and Austin Hazen, 19 were charged for their involvement in the drug ring.

Hardy Lanier, 43, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking ecstasy, trafficking GHB, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, ecstasy and GHB within the  proximity of a school. and possession of firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Benjamin Earle, 32, was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine within the proximity of a school.

Austin K. Hazen, 19, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

Marvin Brown , Commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, said that law enforcement initially received a tip that the drugs were coming into the country and being sent to the home of Lanier. He said they had also received complaints from neighbors regarding activity at the house.

"It wasn't a ton of traffic, but it was enough traffic to throw us a red flag that something's not right with that house," said Brown.

George Shahin, a neighbor living in the community, said he is surprised about what had happened and is glad the men had been taken into custody.

"You just really can't stop people from moving in to the neighborhood. You don't know what their situation is. He got caught. Hopefully they put him away for a while," said Shahin.

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