Myrtle Beach’s kookiest crimes has it all - squibs, moonshines stills and Hells Angels

For Weekly SurgeAugust 19, 2014 

Squib, not squid

A metal, explosive device caused excitement along Garden City Beach, after the object washed out of the ocean and was taken by beach-goers to a local fire department.

Despite having a funny name, the squib was no laughing matter for authorities who had to deal with it.

Two blocks of Azalea Drive in Garden City Beach were closed, while a Naval bomb squad from Charleston County was called to help.

Contrary to what Harry Potter fans were saying, the device was not a wizard, born without any powers, who just happened to wash ashore in Horry County.

Who knew?

The bomb squad, however, wasn’t taking any chances with the tube-shaped object.

The device was examined and then blown into a million pieces.

According to the military, the squib is a marking device, or flare, used by the U.S. Navy.

The people who found the device said it was smoking when they found it, so they put it in water and took it the local fire station.

It is reportedly the first time in recent Grand Strand history that beach-goers have found a smoking, metal pipe and turned it over to authorities.

Mash lab

It was definitely a strange week in Garden City Beach, as Horry County investigators were looking into why a man had a large barrel of moonshine mash in his room at an oceanfront hotel.

The man, who was found deceased, did not die from anything related to the making of moonshine, according to authorities.

A hazardous materials team was called to the scene after the barrel of mash was discovered.

The mash, a mucky combination of corn and water, was not found to be a hazardous material, according to authorities.

However, according to an article describing the steps to making moonshine, the mash is done and ready for distillation when it develops a foamy head and the “froth stops growing.”

That sounds pretty hazardous.

Reports are that the final product, especially the stuff made in a trash barrel, can also be hazardous to your health.

Dreaded suspect

At press time, Conway Police were looking for a suspect who shot a man on Earnest Finney Drive and ran from the scene.

Police were called around 8:15 p.m. Aug. 14 and found the victim on the ground.

The injured man was taken to the hospital.

The crazy-haired shooter left the area and has not been found - he was described as being about 6-feet tall, with long dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail.

No word on whether he was last seen going to a Ziggy Marley concert at the House of Blues.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Conway Police Department at 248-1790.

August bonus

A Darlington County woman apparently didn’t want to wait for her Barnes & Noble gift card at Christmas and tried to run away with more than $20,000 stolen from her employers

Dana Elizabeth Howell, who was a secretary with Darlington County, was caught putting the county’s money into her own account, according to warrant released by SLED (S.C. Law Enforcement Division.) Between 2012 and 2014, Howell cashed “numerous checks,” in large amounts, and converted the funds to her own use, according to SLED.

This is a polite way of saying that money entrusted to her by the taxpayers of Darlington County was frittered away over a period of several years.

No word on exactly how she spent the money, but co-workers helped give statements to SLED that led to her arrest, according to a warrant.

Guess they knew why she never wore the same outfit twice.

Hell, no

The 15th Circuit Solictor's office and Georgetown attorney John Hilliard said Monday that charges had been dismissed against many members of a Hells Angels group arrested in 2012 in a bust dubbed "Operation Red Harvest."

That means that more than 107 charges of pot growing, kidnapping, lynching, lynching by a mob, unlawful use of a telephone, criminal conspiracy and a variety of other gang-type crimes were dismissed.

According to earlier news reports, items that belonged to the bikers have been returned, including iPads and motorcycle jackets.

Since when do bikers have iPads?

Boy, times have changed.

Anyway, since the charges have been dismissed, the motorcycle club is considering filing civil lawsuits against the people that arrested them in the first place.

No civil suits had been filed as of Monday morning.

"There was never any credible evidence against any of my clients, a fact that I have repeatedly pointed out to the prosecution since the time of the original arrests," Hilliard said in the statement.

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