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Man wanted in fentanyl overdose by 1-year-old

Laurens Police found a 1-year-old child suffering from a fentanyl overdose Monday at a Gray Street residence, and now the child’s father is wanted by authorities and its mother was arrested.

While at the residence, LPD officers uncovered evidence of allged drug activity in the household and executed a search warrant for the residence.

During the search, the LPD said investigators discovered a gram of fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and ammunition.

According to the LPD, Tyrist Johnson, 29, the child’s father, is wanted on an outstanding warrant for fentanyl possession and fled the scene. The child’s mother, Naja Simpson, 25, was charged with three counts of unlawful neglect of a child, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy and interference with an investigation.

Police said they believe Johnson to be armed and dangerous and possibly under the influence of drugs.

Johnson also faces additional charges, including three counts of unlawful neglect of a child, failure to report child abuse, marijuana possession, conspiracy and interference with an investigation.

Officers rendered first-aid to the 1-year-old overdose victim, who was found in distress. The child was transported by EMS to an area hospital.

Our priority remains the safety and well-being of all children involved,” a release from the LPD read. “The Laurens Police Department is committed to pursuing justice for our community, especially when it involves vulnerable children. We have zero tolerance for such despicable acts and urge anyone with information to come forward.”

Sex trafficking arrests made by LPD

Two men were arrested in Honea Path on a total of 25 felony warrants involving the sex trafficking of minors, the Laurens Police Department said on Feb. 7.

The Feb. 5 arrests stemmed from a report of sexual assault reported to the LPD this past December.

Christopher Andere Brison Blackwood, 20, of Honea Path, and Charles William Phillips, 20, face multiple charges involving the sexual exploitation of a minor, the prostitution of a minor and criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Blackwood was booked into the Laurens County Detention Center, while Phillips was already in custody at the Greenwood County Detention Center on unrelated charges. Blackwood’s bond totaled over $200,000 on all charges, and he remains in jail.

According to the LPD, investigators discovered evidence suggesting criminal sexual conduct that included an adult paying minors aged 12-14 for sexual favors, beginning when the child was 12 years old until recently with the now 14-year-old child. Another underage victim was also identified during the investigation.

LCSO makes arrest in burglaries

Jason Berry

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in two burglaries that occurred in November and January.

Jason Heath Berry, 44, was arrested Monday and charged with five counts of second-degree burglary, four counts of grand larceny ($10,000 or more), grand larceny (enhanced), three counts of petit larceny (enhanced) and four counts of malicious damage.

Berry was booked into the Laurens County Detention Center and remains there on bond totaling more than $200,000 on all charges.

According to the LCSO, several items, including a truck and a Yamaha Viking UTV, were stolen from Clinton House on Highway 56 on Nov. 21. On Jan. 29, deputies responded to a second burglary at Cooper Road in Enoree where a UTV, a four-wheeler, chainsaws and other items were stolen.

In both incidents, other items such as fencing and security cameras were damaged.

Berry is also on hold for authorities in Union County and other charges are pending in more counties.

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