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Counterfeit Investigation Leads to Bust of Marijuana Growing Operation

Fri, 11/19/2021

(SUMTER, SC) -- Sumter County investigators disrupted a marijuana growing operation while executing a search warrant related to counterfeit items at a residence on Pelfrey Road on November 15, 2021.

While executing the original search warrant  during a joint operation with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, SLED, and Homeland Security, multiple counterfeit clothing, shoes, and bags made to look like Christian Dior, Nike, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent were seized. The retail value of the counterfeit items is estimated to be $213,605, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

During a search of the exterior of the property, Sumter County investigators smelled the strong and distinct odor of marijuana coming from a shed in the backyard. Inside the shed, investigators found multiple marijuana plants, plant-growing equipment, surveillance equipment and a firearm. All items were seized.

In total, there were 21 marijuana plants, 8 budding marijuana plants and 13 juvenile marijuana plants.

Monica Aletha Capers, 39, of Pelfrey Road, Sumter, is charged with manufacturing marijuana, and trafficking counterfeit marks and goods valued at more than $50,000. Capers was transported to Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center and she was released on November 16th on a personal recognizance bond.

“Unfortunately, this is an example of how counterfeit trafficking goes hand in hand with other criminal activity,” said Secretary Hammond.  “Counterfeit is not a victimless crime.  It harms businesses, consumers, and our economy as a whole.  I am glad our office could assist law enforcement in this matter, and we will continue to work to end counterfeit activity in South Carolina.”

“This was great work by our deputies, along with assisting agencies, because they stopped two illegal operations in one day. The presence of surveillance equipment and a firearm are proof, once again, that those who deal with illegal drugs lead dangerous lifestyles and therefore endanger their neighbors,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. “We will continue to work with other agencies when necessary to make our community safer.”