A Greenwood man will spend the next seven years behind bars after being found guilty of obstruction of justice by a Greenwood County jury on Wednesday afternoon. The jury deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdict.
Jermel R. Daniels, 31, was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by Trooper Cody Bishop of the South Carolina Highway Patrol on May 31, 2012. A bag of cocaine belonging to Daniels was placed on the trunk of the car by troopers. A hand-cuffed Daniels managed to grab and swallow the drugs. The defendant then stated to Trooper Bishop that the bag was, in fact, cocaine and that there was now no evidence against him. The defendant was then charged with obstruction of justice, which carries a maximum of 10 years.
Assistant Solicitors Shannon Odom and Aaron Taylor prosecuted the case for the state. Solicitor David M. Stumbo said the prosecution was aided by “outstanding work by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, in particular, Lance Corporal Cody Bishop and Lance Corporal JC Ashley.” Both troopers were on scene that night and testified during the trial.
Following the verdict, Judge Frank R. Addy, Jr. sentenced Daniels to seven years in prison.
“Assistant Solicitor Odom did excellent work in preparing this case for trial that culminated in obtaining a guilty verdict,” said Stumbo. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute and hold accountable those who make a mockery of our justice system.”