Columbia, South Carolina – Dockim Deeshawn McKnight, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute 100 grams or more of heroin with intent.
Evidence obtained in the investigation showed that McKnight was one of 10 defendants charged in April 2014 following a series of court-authorized wiretapping of multiple phones in the Columbia area. Six of the ten accused were arrested in April 2014, four remained at large, including McKnight. McKnight remained a fugitive until his arrest by the US Marshals Service in Brooklyn in May 2022. Two other fugitives were arrested in Texas in 2017. The remaining fugitive, arrested in Concord, North Carolina in September 2022, is currently awaiting trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
The 2013 investigation found that a group of people in the Columbia area obtained heroin from various sources outside of South Carolina and then distributed it throughout the Midlands. Evidence suggested that the suppliers originally sourced the heroin in packages from India. Several packages bound for Columbia containing heroin were intercepted by law enforcement during the investigation. Evidence also showed that the co-defendants later traveled to New York to obtain heroin and transported it back to Columbia, where it was distributed. In June 2013, New York authorities seized 155 grams of heroin from McKnight and his girlfriend/co-defendant Jessany Lyons as they prepared to board a bus back to South Carolina.
Eight of McKnight’s co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to their role in the drug conspiracy here in South Carolina and were sentenced as follows: Columbia’s Eric Shawn Bradley was sentenced to 210 months in prison with 8 years’ supervised release; Michael Glover of Columbia was sentenced to 324 months in prison with 8 years supervised release; Jihad Salahadeen Pollard of Colombia was sentenced to 121 months in prison with 4 years of supervised release; Kenneth Crawford, Jr., of Washington, DC and formerly of Columbia, was sentenced to 120 months in prison with 8 years supervised release; Charles Raheem Bradley of Columbia was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by 6 years of supervised imprisonment; Anthony Troy Glover of Columbia was sentenced to 120 months in prison followed by 8 years of supervised imprisonment; Larry Grover Bookman of Columbia was sentenced to 70 months in prison with 6 years supervised release; and Jessany Lyons of Far Rockaway, New York, was sentenced to 37 months in prison with 3 years supervised release. The New York heroin suppliers have been indicted and convicted by the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York for their role in the drug conspiracy.
McKnight faces a mandatory minimum of five years with a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $5,000,000 and a minimum of 4 years of supervision to follow the sentence. Senior US District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. accepted the guilty plea and will sentence McKnight after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the US Parole Board.
These charges are part of an investigation by the Task Forces to Combat Drugs in Organized Crime (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by employing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-gathering, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminals networks. For more information on the OCDETF program, see https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) High Intensity Drug Task Force, which was composed of agents and officers from the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Secret Service, Columbia Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department , South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department and the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. The US Marshals Service and the Charlotte Office of the Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force helped locate the four fugitives. Assistant US Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia United States Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.