Laurens man convicted as part of statewide drug ring

A Laurens man was convicted by a jury in federal court Wednesday of trafficking illegal drugs.   Thirty-one-year old Terry Demond Cunningham was convicted of conspiracy to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Cunningham’s arrest and conviction is the result of a two-year Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation that resulted in the prosecution of 50 people in Richland and Orangeburg Counties for drug trafficking and money laundering. The investigation involved several federal and state law enforcement agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, SLED, the FBI, and the Orangeburg, Richland, and Lexington County Sheriff’s Offices.
 Cunningham was identified as a co-conspirator through intercepted wire taps of cellular phones. The Government presented over 30 recorded conversations that showed that Cunningham bought large amounts of cocaine between April 2008 until October 2008.  Prosecutors says Cunningham was personally responsible for more than 15 kilograms of cocaine over the course of the conspiracy, and was converting the cocaine into crack cocaine for resale in the Laurens area. When Cunningham was arrested in October 2008, he had in his possession more than $33,000 cash, he admitted that he had the money for te purpose of buying more cocaine from his supplier. Cunningham faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.