Crime & Public Safety

Man faces 17 drug, weapons-possession charges after hospital stay

A Hilton Head Island man was charged this week with 17 drug and weapon-possessions crimes after a search of his home and car, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Sheriff's deputies arrested 47-year-old Ernest Bryan because a search of his home June 28 produced four handguns and four types of drugs in his cars and his Woodlake Villas apartment, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said Thursday.

The Sheriff's Office Drug Investigations Section searched Bryan's apartment, a 2001 Mercedes and a 2003 Honda Accord. Investigators found 2.4 kilograms of marijuana, 28 grams of crack cocaine, 17 grams of ecstasy, 17 pills of Xanax and four handguns, McIntosh said.

As the search took place, Bryan began to complain of pain from old injuries, McIntosh said. He asked for medical attention and was taken to Hilton Head Hospital, then transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Bryan was arrested and charged after he was released from the hospital Monday. Charges include manufacturing cocaine, trafficking cocaine, trafficking ecstasy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

He also was arraigned on eight more charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, two charges of possession with intent to distribute ecstasy, two counts of possession of firearm by a felon, and one charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Bryan was released from the Beaufort County Detention Center Monday afternoon after posting a $440,000 bond, according to the jail log.