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Lexington Operation Sheepdog

Lexington Operation Sheepdog

On September 1, 2022, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of 22 men in what they called “Operation Sheepdog.”  The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, is familiar with this type of operation and in defending those accused. We offer free in-office consultations with an attorney by calling 1-888-301-6004.

“Operation Sheepdog” was an online sting, where police officers impersonated children and\or custodians of children to men in online forums, chatrooms, email, and text-messages. This was in an effort to create evidence of and make arrests for various criminal charges.

Those charged are going to be prosecuted in Lexington County General Sessions Court, by special prosecutors from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Specifically, the prosecutors work with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

We understand that just because someone was caught up in a police sting does not mean that they should be automatically considered guilty. Individuals who were caught up in this sting are all facing serious felony charges.

Common offense charged include:

Criminal Solicitation of a Minor – This is a South Carolina state-law felony that makes it illegal to communicate to obtain sexual activity with a minor or a police officer pretending to be a minor. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison.

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – This is the South Carolina state-law felony against child pornography. There are multiple levels, and the maximum penalty can be 20 years in prison.

Unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a minor – This is a South Carolina state-law felony where it is illegal for an adult to transmit or show obscene materials to a minor. The maximum penalty is up to 10 years in prison

Attempted Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – This is a South Carolina state-law felony, whereby an individual can be criminally charged for attempting to meet up with a minor or a police officer pretending to be a minor for sexual activity. The maximum penalty can be up to 10 years in prison.

We help our clients seek dismissals, sentencing reductions, or to fight their charges in court. In addition to prison sentences, individuals caught up in this sting are also facing a requirement to register as a sex offender. We are able to perform an independent investigation into the circumstances of our client’s arrest, and screen every case for defenses such as entrapment. We also regularly make use of experts in fields such as forensic psychology, to demonstrate to the prosecution and court that our client is not a danger or risk to the community.

There is hope in every situation to avoid jail or prison time.  

To schedule a free in-office appointment with James R. Snell, Jr., about your case call 1-888-301-6004. Mr. Snell is a graduate of Harvard University, a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the prior president of the Lexington County Bar Association. His office is able to represent anyone charged from “Operation Sheepdog” or any other similar offenses in any South Carolina court.


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