South Carolina Wildfire Starter Arrested for Drug Possession

The man who set the fire in 2009 has been arrested for drug possessionMarc Anthony Torchi, who accidentally started a massive wildfire near Myrtle Beach, SC in 2009, has been released after being arrested for possession of marijuana and “bath salts.”

Torchi was arrested on Monday and charged with the distribution of a Schedule I Narcotic, possession of a Schedule I Narcotic, simple possession of marijuana and possession of a Schedule IV Narcotic. He was released on Wednesday after paying his $26,650 bond; it is not known yet if he has a lawyer.

The wildfire in 2009 was started when Torchi burned some debris in his yard, but the blaze quickly spread out of control. The fire ended up destroying 31 total square miles, and 76 homes, in Horry County.

Authorities charged Torchi with failure to alert authorities to the fire he started. He plead guilty to the misdemeanor charges and paid the fines involved.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission does not hold Torchi criminally responsible for the fire, although it originated on his property. The fire is the most destructive wildfire in South Carolina’s history, however.

In the latest case against Torchi, DEU Deputy Commander Dean Bishop tells WMBF News that the 42-year-old was the target of an investigation by the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit into Schedule I narcotics. The DEU conducted surveillance regarding the sale and delivery of bath salts, gathered enough evidence to claim probable cause, and issued a search warrant. Agents seized 290 packets of bath salts, 28 grams of marijuana, and some Schedule IV medications. They also found $4,000 in cash.

No link has been drawn between the wildfire and Torchi’s drug possession.

Drug possession is a serious crime in the state of South Carolina. If you have been charged with possession, you could owe thousands of dollars or spend years in jail. The criminal defense lawyers at the Strom Law Firm can help you with your case. We offer free consultations, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.

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