Meth-ring bust sends 6 to prison

Six York County residents will spend time in prison after pleading guilty to involvement in a multicounty methamphetamine ring, authorities said.

The ring, which dates back to 2002, is the focus of an investigation that dates to last year and involves several local and statewide law enforcement agencies.

Over the past five years, the ring brought about 23 pounds of methamphetamine, or "ice," with a street value of more than $1.5 million to York County, Lt. Jason Dalton of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit said.

So far, police seized a truck, three guns and about a pound of meth with a street value of $75,000, he said.

"This form of meth is like the crack of cocaine," Dalton said about the drug, which can be sniffed, smoked, injected or eaten. "This is the most potent form of meth you can get."

Prison sentences were meted out throughout September and as recently as last week, Chuck Grant of the drug enforcement unit said. The U.S. Attorney's Office oversaw the case, he said.

Those York County residents who received prison sentences were:

• Kelly Nicole Elkins, 28, of 825 Tirzah Road in York, who led trafficking efforts in York County, was sentenced to 10 years, Dalton said.

• David Scott Lee, 23, of 3979 S.C. 324 in Rock Hill, who will spend 10 years in prison;

• Sherri Lynn Hunter, 35, of 11741 Harrisburg Road in Fort Mill, who received an 87-month sentence;

• Luther Edward Gatlin, 26, of 11741 Harrisburg Road, Fort Mill, who received a 70-month sentence;

• Alan Vuchak of Rock Hill, whose age and address weren't released, was sentenced to 57 months, and

• Shelia Ann Dover, 26, of 1130 Louie Road in Rock Hill, who will remain in jail for 21 months.

"We had people constantly importing meth from other counties, bringing it into our county and distributing it," Dalton said. "These people had good lives, and the drugs ruined them. They were using, selling and trading it."

Meth often is used to dodge sleep, Grant said.

"We're talking three to seven days without any sleep," he said. "The effect of meth is a sudden boost of energy."

Said Dalton, "People don't realize how quick they can get addicted to it. We want to keep meth out of here."