Former Clemson slugger headed to prison over Midlands drug ring
Marijuana, MDMA, and millions in ill-gotten cash are the three strikes that will send Bradley Felder to prison
The game is over for Bradley Lewis Felder.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry Wooten on Tuesday sentenced the 27-year-old former baseball player for Clemson University and The Citadel to 12 years in prison for his role in a drug importation and distribution ring centered in Lexington and Richland counties.
Felder, of Bowman, pleaded guilty in June to his involvement in a conspiracy to possess and distribute large quantities of marijuana and “molly,” or MDMA, a concentrated form of the illicit party-drug Ecstasy, which combines the effects of amphetamines and psychedelics.
At Felder’s plea hearing, an attorney for the government told Wooten that in the summer of 2013, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Felder, whom they learned was involved in the importation and distribution of both high-grade marijuana and molly in and around Richland and Lexington counties.
As the investigation progressed, agents established that Felder was importing high-grade marijuana from northern California, and the molly from an unknown source of supply in China.
Agents discovered that Felder rented various houses and apartments in and around Richland and Lexington counties for the primary purpose of using the addresses to receive shipments of molly. Felder paid friends to accept the delivery of the drug packages; sometimes he paid in cash, other times he paid with marijuana.
During the investigation that led to Felder’s arrest, agents intercepted approximately nine packages of “molly,” each containing kilogram quantities, being shipped to South Carolina from China, and seized approximately $150,000 in cash from Felder.
On Aug. 31, 2015, special agents and officers with the Midlands High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force arrested Felder in the parking garage of the Gates of Williams Brice apartments in Columbia.
Following Felder’s arrest, agents seized an additional $47,837 in cash, a loaded .45-caliber pistol, and two watches valued at approximately $64,000.
Agents also seized several cell phones from Felder, one of which contained photographs of huge amounts of money. One picture, taken in Felder’s apartment a month prior to his arrest, showed money stacked on the kitchen counter. The money had been heat-sealed in plastic, and stacked in large bundles. Another photograph showed a small closet with shelves filled with large Tupperware-style containers full of cash.
Agents confronted Felder about the money that was pictured on his phone. On Feb. 2, 2016, Felder led agents to a location where he had buried a large bag of money in Bowman. Agents seized the bag which contained more than $1.7 million dollars.
At Tuesday’s sentencing, Judge Wooten ordered Felder to forfeit the money that had been seized from him, and also placed a money judgment against the defendant in the amount of $11 million dollars.