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South Carolina prison drug scheme busted; Zachariah Ryan Luke and Evin Rae Davenport sentenced to federal prison

20 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

Contraband cellphones expose a South Carolina prison drug conspiracy involving Zachariah Ryan Luke and accomplice Evin Rae Davenport.

South Carolina prison drug scheme busted; Zachariah Ryan Luke and Evin Rae Davenport sentenced to federal prison - Inmate Lookup

In November 2021, Zachariah Ryan Luke, an inmate in a South Carolina prison serving time for various drug and firearm offenses, faced federal charges for utilizing contraband cellphones.

According to the federal prosecutors, Luke had employed these phones to communicate with Evin Rae Davenport, his codefendant, who played a role in acquiring and selling illegal drugs on the streets. Luke directed Davenport to facilitate drug transactions with a Florida-based dealer on three occasions.

During one such transaction outside a store in South Carolina, approximately one kilogram of methamphetamine was involved. Subsequently, in St. Augustine, Florida, the dealer was pulled over for a traffic violation but opted to evade deputies, initiating a pursuit.

The chase was monitored by a police helicopter, and the pilot observed an object being thrown from the car. The pilot directed another deputy to the location, where a backpack containing around 985.6 grams of 100% pure crystal methamphetamine was discovered.

Following the arrest of the dealer, corrections officers seized multiple cellphones from Luke, who was prohibited from possessing them in prison. Investigating these phones, authorities recovered text communications involving discussions with both Davenport and the Florida-based dealer. These messages detailed information about the supply and delivery of drugs, specifying when, where, and from whom the narcotics were to be obtained.

In August, 28-year-old Luke pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine. Later on, in September, Davenport, aged 32, also pleaded guilty.

Luke received a sentence of 15 years and 8 months, while Davenport was sentenced to 12 years in the same hearing and for the same offense.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the South Carolina Department of Corrections, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, and the ATF investigated this case, according to the press release from the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant US Attorney Michael J. Coolican is the prosecutor.