Man sentenced to 15 years for smuggling drugs into detention center

Ricky Rogers McField, a 39-year-old Columbia man, pled guilty to trafficking cocaine, conspiracy, and furnishing contraband into the Lexington County Detention Center March 27.

Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin accepted the guilty plea and sentenced McField to 15 years for trafficking cocaine, five years for conspiracy, and 10 years for furnishing contraband into the Lexington County Detention Center. Under South Carolina law, trafficking cocaine is classified as a violent, serious, and “no parole” offense. McField also pled to various Richland County offense involving illicit narcotics and weapons.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Kelly Oppenheimer and investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Enforcement Team, as well as the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

On May 25, 2022, while McField was out on bond for various Richland County offenses involving illicit narcotics and weapons, the South Carolina Highway Patrol conducted a license checkpoint on North Lake Drive in Lexington County. McField, whose license was under suspension at the time, drove through the checkpoint and was subsequently arrested for driving under suspension. Following a search of McField’s person incident to arrest, law enforcement officers found a clear plastic baggie containing marijuana in his pants pocket.

Later, while at the Lexington County Detention Center, officers found additional narcotics in McField’s underwear to include: 21.5 grams of a white powdery substance consistent with cocaine; two small clear baggies with 5.9 grams of a crystal-like substance consistent with methamphetamine; two small clear baggies with 4.2 grams of a white rock-like substance consistent with crack cocaine; and one clear baggie with 42 dosage unites of a white pill consistent with Xanax.

Later, while in the Lexington County Detention Center, agents with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Enforcement Team discovered a plan by McField and one other inmate to bring illicit narcotics and other contraband into the jail. During the investigation, Agents discovered a conversation McField had with a woman, who was not incarcerated, instructing her to get “green” (which is marijuana), “clear” (which is methamphetamine), and other contraband items. The investigation revealed the same woman then bought the narcotics and packaged them in a black bag. The woman then gave the package to another individual who drove in a U-Haul truck to the jail and tossed the black bag with the narcotics over the fence at the jail. Other inmates retrieved the black bag and immediately brought it to McField in his room at the detention center. Law enforcement believe at that point the drugs were distributed to other inmates by McField.

McField has prior convictions for illicit narcotics, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and malicious injury to property.