Florence County, South Carolina – In an operation on February 6, 2024, Florence County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) deputies made an arrest following a routine traffic stop on a commercial passenger bus. The stop, which took place on the northbound lane of Interstate 95 near the 164-mile marker, quickly escalated from a simple moving violation to a major discovery of illegal substances and firearms.
The FCSO’s Criminal Enforcement Unit (CEU), which conducted the traffic stop, found themselves uncovering more than just traffic infractions. A probable cause search of the bus’s luggage compartment revealed a stash of multiple stolen handguns and a substantial quantity of marijuana, prompting further investigation on the spot.
Among the firearms recovered were two handguns reported stolen from jurisdictions within Florida, shedding light on the interstate nature of the crime. More alarming was the discovery of an AR-15 rifle with its serial number deliberately obliterated, pointing towards an attempt to hide the weapon’s origins and ownership.
This find significantly heightened the gravity of the situation, indicating potential ties to more serious criminal activities. The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Angel Rafael Garcia Francisco of Waterbury, Connecticut, was arrested on the scene.
Francisco is facing serious charges, including three counts of Possession of a Stolen Pistol, as outlined by the S.C. Code Ann. 16-23-030, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana, under S.C. Code Ann. 44-53-370(a). These charges reflect the severity of the crimes and the risk posed to the community.
Currently, Francisco is being held at the Florence County Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing.
Once more details are available, we will update the story. Stay with us.