Lexington man had 2 pounds of cocaine, unbuckled toddler in truck chase, prosecutor says
A Lexington man is going to federal prison for more than a dozen years after pleading guilty to a drug charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Curley Brooks Jr., 47, was sentenced to 160 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said Brooks was arrested in March 2021 — but not without incident.
Brooks led multiple law enforcement officers on a vehicle chase, crashing into several vehicles, while he had about 2 pounds of cocaine and an unrestrained 2-year-old child inside of his truck, according to the release.
The incident began when police were conducting a parcel inspection at the FedEx Express Hub in West Columbia and a K-9 gave a positive alert to a package, which police opened and found cocaine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Information about who sent the package, and if they faced any charges, was not available.
The Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division made a controlled delivery of the package, maintaining surveillance on it after delivery, according to the release. The package was delivered to a residence on Glenn Road in Gaston on March 13, the sheriff’s department said.
A truck pulled into the driveway of the residence, and the driver, later identified as Brooks, exited the driver side door, walked to the front door, and picked up the package before taking it with him to his vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Brooks backed out of the driveway and attempted to leave, but agents moved in to stop the truck, according to the release. That started the chase.
Brooks tried to escape and drove into the yard, where his truck hit a SLED vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Other agents attempted to block Brooks’ truck from leaving the yard, but Brooks made a sharp turn and almost struck a second police vehicle, according to the release. In his effort to avoid hitting the police vehicle, Brooks rear-ended a civilian car sitting at a stop sign, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Brooks then tried backing out of the situation but wound up crashing into another police vehicle, according to the release.
As Brooks drove off, other agents were pulling up in the intersection, and Brooks drove head-on and struck their vehicle before being stopped and taken into custody, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The package was recovered sitting on the passenger floorboard of the truck, and Brooks’ 2-year-old child was unsecured in the back seat of the vehicle, according to the release.
No injuries were reported.
“They stopped the truck and recovered more than 400 grams of cocaine from the passenger seat,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in 2021. Agents found more than 15 grams of crack in the truck’s back seat, according to Koon.
The two state charges for drug trafficking and an additional charge for unlawful neglect of a child were not prosecuted, Lexington County Court records show.
Following his prison sentence, Brooks must serve a 3-year term of court-ordered supervision, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. There is no parole in the federal system.
In addition to SLED and the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team, the case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives..
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Witherspoon prosecuted the case. Stanley Myers was listed as Brooks attorney, court records show.
Brooks has a previous criminal record in Lexington County.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to drug as well as assault and battery (high and aggravated nature) charges, according to court records.