Ringleader headed to prison | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | December 21, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: December 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm
The reputed leader of a theft ring was given a lengthy prison term when he pled guilty to multiple charges during a Colleton County General Sessions visit last week.
Samuel L. Campbell, 33, of Round O pled guilty to a total of 12 criminal charges during his appearance before visiting Circuit Court Judge Brooks P. Goldsmith.
A safecracking charge set the amount of time Campbell will serve behind bars at 22 years. The rest of the charges carried sentences that will be served concurrently.
The safecracking charge (along with an accessory after the fact in a felony charge) involved Campbell going to a Cottageville residence to force open a gun safe, taken from a Walterboro residence, to remove the weapons. Campbell was given a concurrent 15-year prison term on the accessory charge.
Concurrent 15-year prison terms were also set for guilty pleas on seven burglary charges and a single grand larceny count.
Concurrent five-year prison terms were levied in connection with two counts of breaking into a motor vehicle.
“This defendant stole his way through this county, causing lots of damage along the way,” said Assistant Solicitor Ceth Utsey, who has been a member of Colleton County’s community prosecution team since 2015. “Many people were left with heartaches and headaches due to Mr. Campbell and his indiscriminate stealing.”
The burglaries and car break-ins occurred in January and February of this year in the communities of Walterboro, Cottageville and Islandton.
Campbell was released from prison in December of 2016 and, shortly after he returned to Colleton County, the theft ring began its crime spree.
The investigation into the rash of thefts led to the arrest of Campbell and five others by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
Colleton County investigators were able to recover approximately $80,000 in stolen property while serving the arrest warrants.
As the investigation continued, they also recovered property worth $150,000 that was reportedly taken in burglaries in Charleston and Orangeburg counties.
Campbell’s criminal record includes convictions for DUI (2002); driving with a suspended license (2005); resisting arrest and receiving stolen goods (2012); grand larceny and possession of methamphetamine (2014) and driving with a suspended license, failure to stop for a blue light and receiving stolen goods (2016).