Following several emails and comments on a story about a Bluffton man characterized by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office as a “known member of the Buck Island Gang,” the Sheriff’s Office insisted there is gang activity in Beaufort County even if residents may not recognize it when they see it.
The story posted on islandpacket.com was about Tyrone Simmons, 36, who was charged with possession of cocaine Friday afternoon after he allegedly made an improper turn from Buck Island Road onto Bluffton Parkway, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.
As a deputy checked Simmons’ license plates, dispatch advised that Simmons was “a known member of the Buck Island Gang,” the report said.
The story prompted several comments on the newspaper’s Facebook page, many of them skeptical about gang activity locally.
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“Really...,” one commenter wrote, “So this is what the police do? Buck Island Gang, get a grip. ... My laugh for the day. Poor Bluffton don’t even know what a real drug gang is.”
“Ain’t no such thing (as the) Buck Island Gang,” another wrote.
When asked on Tuesday whether there is a Buck Island Gang, Capt. Bob Bromage of the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide specifics but insisted there is gang activity in Beaufort County. Bromage said providing specifics of gang activity would reveal investigative tactics.
“It’s not going to be readily apparent on the streets of Beaufort County as it would be in a big city,” Bromage said. “(Gang members) aren’t going to be easily identifiable.”
Bromage said much of the gang activity in Beaufort County goes on “behind the scenes” of everyday life.
“People’s traditional view of a gang is from watching TV and movies. Sometimes, it is not going to be right out in the open,” he said. “But some people associate themselves with gangs.”