Two Sumter men face drug charges after traveling salesman's fatal overdose in August


Two Sumter men are facing drug charges after an investigation indicated they reportedly provided heroin to a traveling salesman who was found dead of an overdose in August of last year.

The victim, 37-year-old Louis Ross of North Myrtle Beach, was working in Sumter and staying at a local motel before he was reported missing by his employer and associates on Aug. 10, 2018, said Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for Sumter Police Department.

Two days after he was reported missing, she said, officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle Ross was last seen driving, only another man was behind the wheel.

Information gathered during that stop provided officers with areas where Ross might be found, she said.

The search led officers to a wooded area off Dicks Street where Ross' body was found the day after the traffic stop, she said.

An autopsy determined Ross died of a drug overdose, McGirt said.

She said the man driving the vehicle, Joseph Rakeem Buck, 26, of 115 Lakeview Drive in Sumter, was taken into custody on Aug. 13, 2018, and charged with grand larceny for vehicle theft.

As the investigation continued, officers determined Buck and co-defendant Edward Frederick Williams, 28, of 66 Milton St., provided heroin to Ross prior to his death.

Buck and Williams, who was arrested this week, are each charged with distribution of heroin and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Both men are being held at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.