More than 130 heavily armed officers swept through Colleton County in a wave of pre-dawn raids Wednesday aimed at breaking the backs of two local gangs tied to drive-by killings and other crimes.
The targets were 20 suspected members of the feuding Sand Hill and Dooley Hill gangs, linked to a string of bloody violence in the area, authorities said. The state grand jury indicted the suspects on multiple offenses, including a November drive-by shooting in Walterboro that killed two adults and a 20-month-old girl.
The indictments, unsealed by court order this week, range from murder to arson and perjury.
Working in teams of six or more, a contingent of federal, state and local agents and police swarmed through the county about 5 a.m., hitting the homes of suspects simultaneously to preserve the element of surprise, State Law Enforcement Director Reggie Lloyd said.