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Three charged with selling drugs near elementary school

Working at the car wash didn’t work out so well for three local men arrested in the past week for allegedly selling drugs at a West 10th Street business in Washington.

A series of controlled drug buys conducted by members of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit led to charges of possession with intent to sell and deliver narcotics within 1,000 feet of a school for the three, due to the proximity of Booth’s Car Wash to John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School.

The first two were charged on March 8, when deputies conducted a search warrant at the business. According to a BCSO press release, the search yielded 125 grams of marijuana, packaging materials and digital scales.

Michael Booth, 36, of 1272 Westridge Court, in Greenville, was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school. BCSO Drug Unit Lt. Russell Davenport said Booth’s father owns the car wash.

Giles Keyes, 54, of 606 Bonner St. in Washington, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

The third man, Jermaine Moore, 36, of 810 W. Eighth St., turned himself in on Thursday and was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

“That statute enhances sentences by a level,” Davenport said. “Without the 1,000 feet, it’s not as serious a felony as it is when it’s within 1,000 feet of a school.”

According to a release from the BCSO, Drug Unit investigators had made controlled purchases from each of the men. All three were confined in the Beaufort County Detention Center under secured bonds, Booth at $30,000, Keyes at $7,500 and Moore at $40,000.