3rd Judicial Circuit Drug Analysis Lab
The Third Judicial Circuit Drug Analysis Laboratory was started by and is operated by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Dennis wanted to lay the foundation to eventually be independent of SLED and other agencies by being able to process most of our evidence in-house.
We began with a drug analysis laboratory to serve not only our agency, but every agency in the Third Judicial Circuit. In previous drug cases, samples could take anywhere from two to eight months to come back from SLED due to their statewide backlog.
In early 2005, we began researching other labs throughout the state and region to see what would need to be in place for a lab. With the help of other agencies around the state and members of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice Programs, we were able to come up with a comprehensive plan to find funding and begin the project.
In the spring of 2006, we were awarded our first grant for over $196,000. The funds were from an annual competitive federal grant that’s administered by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice Programs. After hiring a chemist and buying the initial supplies, we applied for and were awarded another $163,000 in spring of 2007 for more equipment and supplies.
Since its inception, we have analyzed over 4,000 marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, extacy, and other suspect drug samples to be used in court. The lab has also expanded to offer other forensic services to agencies in the circuit.
If you have any questions or concerns about the drug lab, please email Lieutenant Brown or call him at 803-436-2760.