Auto body shopin Mount Pleasant, SC

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The Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration Difference

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

One of the unfortunate realities about driving and owning cars in the Lowcountry is that you will probably have to deal with some form of body damage at some point. Whether your driver-side door gets dinged in a parking lot or you back into a light pole, accidents happen. The good news? Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help with all of your body shop needs.

Unlike many fly-by-night collision repair companies, our auto body shop in cityname, state has served hardworking people for years. We make it a point to only employ the most experienced, highly-trained auto body technicians available, so you have peace of mind that we'll get the job done right. In fact, our mechanics have more than 60 years of combined experience. There is no collision repair job that we haven't handled - from minor bumps and scratches to complex repairs stemming from multi-car accidents.

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality body shop services at the most reasonable prices in town. We believe that everyone deserves to have their car or truck repaired when they need it the most. After all, our vehicles are crucial to daily life. We need them to live, work and play. We use them for just about every activity we enjoy, from taking the kids to soccer practice to hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That's why we work with just about every car insurance company out there to ensure that our loyal customers have access to the best collision repair in South Carolina.

Customers choose Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration because they know we strive to exceed their expectations. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our customers with reliable body shop services, high-quality repair work, and helpful customer service. But that's not all. Our clients enjoy peace of mind with their collision repairs because we:

auto body shop Services

SERVICE AREAS

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Provide Free Estimates: Drop by our shop or call our office to learn more about our free estimates. Once we understand the scope of your restoration needs, our team will get to work.

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Offer 100% Guarantee: We have become a staple in our community because we guarantee our work 100%. If we missed the mark, made a mistake, or you're unhappy with our service, let us know. We'll make it right.

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Specialize in Full-Service Repairs: Our collision mechanics make repairs on all vehicle makes and models, so you don't have to worry about whether we can service your car. As a full-service collision repair company in South Carolina, we help every step of the way, from the moment we meet until you leave our parking lot.

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Love to Paint: Yes, you read that right. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we have a team of incredibly talented car painters to supplement our collision services. We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom paint projects.

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Accept Car Insurance: As daily drivers and locals in South Carolina, we know that collision repairs can be pricey. Despite the cost, they are necessary for daily life. That's why we're happy to work with car insurance companies, so you can go where you need to go without stressing about safety.

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Work Hard for You: At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we try to keep it simple. You can rest easy knowing that there's no fine print, sleazy sales tactics, or lazy mechanics to worry about. When you pull into our parking lot, know that we prioritize good old-fashioned hard work and reliable service. No if's, and's, or but's.

Your First Choice for Collision
Repair in Mount Pleasant, SC

According to recent statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a new traffic accident happens every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina. That's a lot of car accidents in a short amount of time. Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, filled with complex insurance claims and complicated auto body repairs. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we know how stressful it can be to have your care restored to its pre-collision beauty. That's why we offer comprehensive, streamlined auto body services and unsurpassed car restoration quality.

With more than 60 years of combined body shop experience in South Carolina, our repair techs leave no stones unturned and never take shortcuts when repairing your vehicle. We're proud to say we only use the latest diagnostic techniques, equipment, and parts to get the job done right. That way, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

A few of our most common auto body shop services include but are not limited to:

Frame Repair in Mount Pleasant

Studies show that about 50 percent of vehicles suffer some kind of frame damage in a car collision. Frame damage can occur easily, even in common situations involving minor fender benders. Often, frame damage is difficult to see and can go unnoticed by insurance adjusters. The unfortunate truth is that even minor frame damage can put you, your family, your friends, and your car at risk when driving. When it goes unnoticed, it can often spell disaster for everyday drivers who might think their car is fine to drive.

When your car's frame is bent, your alignment is usually off, too, causing you to swerve and veer while driving. At best, this scenario results in unnecessary wear on your tires and, at worst, results in a car wreck. The bottom line? You need to get your car's frame inspected by a team of professional collision repair experts, even if you've only been involved in a minor accident.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we take a comprehensive approach to frame repair and alignment. Our highly-trained frame repair technicians use a multi-point process to diagnose and correct your frame problems by:

  • Inspecting your car and its frame visually to discover any denting or bending.
  • Our alignment machine uses hydraulics and torque to strengthen your car's frame back to factory specs.
  • If our technicians spot damage, we'll begin the restoration process by placing your car on our frame alignment machine.
  • Once your frame is fixed, we'll answer any of your questions and will send you back on the road with a safe-to-drive vehicle.

Your First Choice for Collision Repair in Mount Pleasant, SC

Chips and cracks are bad news for your car's windshield and don't just look bad - they can do serious damage when left unrepaired. Cracks and chips can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a safety hazard by impairing your vision. If your windshield crack is bad enough, you might even get pulled over by a police officer. Driving your vehicle with a large crack or even with an object embedded in it is a bad idea, but Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help.

Our windshield repair technicians have years of experience repairing car windows and windshields for many types of automobile glass, including side and rear windows. If you have been involved in a collision and need new glass, we can help facilitate that process and install a new windshield without you ever lifting a finger. New glass is usually needed with serious car wrecks, and it's always best to trust a professional auto body shop in cityname, state to get the job done. Our team uses the most modern glass and adhesives on the market, so you know your windshield and windows are high-quality and ready for the road.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Whether you have a chipped windshield or need all-new glass for your car, we're here to serve you.
Out car windshield and glass repairs include:

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Door Glass

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Vent Glass

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Quarter Glass

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Back Glass

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Windshield Glass

Paintless Dent Removal in Mount Pleasant

Any kind of item or stray piece of debris can dent your car. If you've been driving for at least a few years, chances are you've parked at a grocery store and, after shopping, returned to your car to see a big, unsightly dent. Whether they're due to inclement weather or rocks on the highway, dents cause noticeable damage that only gets worse with time. One of the most common dent repair solutions is paintless dent removal - a process that removes dents in your vehicle without removing any paint.

Paintless dent removal is great because it is not invasive and is a very efficient, cost-effective way to fix car dents before they get even worse. There are no fillers or sanding involved, making this option one of the quickest ways to remove dents. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, our dent removal technicians use several tools to gently massage dents out of your car. When we're done, we'll smooth everything back into place, leaving your car looking like new.

To make matters even better, most paintless dent removal is supported by car insurance agencies, meaning you may not pay a cent out of pocket for our dent removal services.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Classic Car Restoration
in Mount Pleasant

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are very passionate about classic car restoration and offer a wide range of restoration services in Mount Pleasant. We understand that no two classic car restoration projects are the same, which is why we offer a wide variety of services. We're talking mechanical upgrades, partial restorations, and full car restoration projects. If you have a repair, upgrade, or restoration plan in mind, chances are we can help you achieve your goals.

After we perform an initial inspection and provide you with a detailed estimate on the scope of work needed to restore your car, our seasoned technicians will get to work on your project.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Our full-scale classic car restoration process includes:

Auto Body Work Overhaul

Painting

Mechanical Repairs

Repair Interior

Custom Auto Body Painting in Mount Pleasant

When was the last time you got compliments on your car's paint? If you loved your car's paint when it was brand new but hate what it looks like now, Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration can help you fall back in love with your vehicle. Whether your current paint job looks old and faded or you're craving a new color to show off, our paint technicians can deliver what you're looking for.

Between our advanced painting tools and uber-talented vehicle painting experts, our team can transform your car's aesthetic appeal, no matter the make and model. We can even fix dings and scratches in your paint while we're at it, so your car is shiny, smooth, and ready to turn heads.

We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom projects. We're happy to work with budgets of all sizes and can accommodate all of your painting needs, whether you want to paint a daily driver or a show car.

We recommend you call our office today, so we can get to know you a little better and understand what kind of paint job your car needs. We're happy to chat about cars and your paint job, even if you're just inquiring. After all, we're more than the best body shop in Mount Pleasant - we're enthusiasts, too.

Auto Body Shop Mount Pleasant, SC

Your First Choice for Collison
Repair in Mount Pleasant, SC

If you're on the hunt for the highest-quality auto body repair services in South Carolina, backed by decades of experience, look no further than Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration. We put our customer's needs first and strive to exceed expectations with every service we offer - all at a price you can afford. Swing by our body shop or contact our office today to discover why we're the Lowcountry's first choice in collision repair.

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number(843) 996-4995

Free Estimates

Latest News in Mount Pleasant, SC

Mount Pleasant could seek 15-year property tax increase in fall recreation referendum

MOUNT PLEASANT — Parks and playing fields are popular; tax increases are not.This fall, Mount Pleasant voters will likely be asked to decide which is more important.A proposed November referendum would ask residents if they are willing to pay a higher property tax for 15 years to fund $50 million in recreation improvements.“We’ve been talking about this and council is ready to move forward,” said Town Council member Laura Hyatt at a committee meeting June 6.As proposed, most of the money &m...

MOUNT PLEASANT — Parks and playing fields are popular; tax increases are not.

This fall, Mount Pleasant voters will likely be asked to decide which is more important.

A proposed November referendum would ask residents if they are willing to pay a higher property tax for 15 years to fund $50 million in recreation improvements.

“We’ve been talking about this and council is ready to move forward,” said Town Council member Laura Hyatt at a committee meeting June 6.

As proposed, most of the money — $40 million — would be used to develop the town’s portion of the 245-acre park site Mount Pleasant jointly purchased in 2010 with Charleston County’s park system on Rifle Range Road.

Other targeted additions include renovations to Park West pool, development of a multiuse path network called Mount Pleasant Way, green space and land preservation.

The language of the referendum could change as the plan works its way through Town Council, which is expected to take a first vote on the plan June 14, following a unanimous referral from the recreation committee.

Town Administrator Eric DeMoura said the money would be dedicated to the projects specified in the referendum.

The cost of the plans would fall to Mount Pleasant property owners. The referendum calls for a 10.2 percent increase in the town’s property tax rate. That would raise more than $4 million yearly for 15 years, enough to pay back the borrowed money plus more than $10 million in expected interest, Deputy Chief Financial Officer Tammy Harness said.

The town assumes it can borrow the money at about 2.5 percent interest.

Mount Pleasant would borrow the $50 million in 2023 if the referendum were approved.

Mount Pleasant has expensive homes and a low tax rate running less than half the rate of Charleston or North Charleston. The owner of a $500,000 home in town pays just $636 after the local option sales tax discount.

The referendum, if approved, would cost the owner of a half-million-dollar home an extra $80 yearly for 15 years.

Actual bills depend on what a property is worth, and commercial properties — apartments, stores and offices, for example — pay 50 percent more than owner-occupied homes.

The last time voters were asked to approve a higher property tax, which was in 2020 to fund countywide affordable housing efforts, the referendum failed in all but a handful of Mount Pleasant voting precincts.

This proposed referendum would fund improvements only in the town, where it is common for parents to complain at Town Council meetings that there aren’t enough playing fields.

The park site sits along Rifle Range Road just north of Six Mile Road. The town is about to start construction on a $10 million two-lane road that will run through the park site, dividing the town’s portion from the county’s while connecting Rifle Range Road to U.S. Highway 17.

The county’s portion of the park is proposed to be focused on trails and natural areas, while the town’s is more focused on active recreation. The county park system has not announced plans to improve it’s share of the land, and right now the entire park is little but an entrance sign and a small parking lot.

Charleston County Parks and Recreation already collects a property tax countywide. It is 4 mills — just like the temporary tax increase Mount Pleasant is considering for the referendum.

Councilman Jake Rambo sought assurances that if the town wins approval for the new tax, it would be adjusted during reassessment years. Generally, reassessments increase the value of the tax base, so tax rates go down in order to avoid a windfall.

Some countywide tax rates are fixed, so they become worth more money every time there’s a reassessment. DeMoura said Town Council could keep that from happening by adjusting a referendum-approved tax during reassessment years.

Mount Pleasant’s Hunter Quinn Homes Finds Fame with HGTV’s “Rock the Block”

When producers of the popular HGTV show “Rock the Block” started looking for the right builder to create homes for season three, they were faced with myriad choices. Charleston, East Cooper and the greater Lowcountry offer some of the best builders in the nation — along with the best real estate– but one Mount Pleasant-based company stood out and won them over: Hunter Quinn Homes.“With every new season of “Rock The Block”, our casting team searches the country looking for homebuilders ready to...

When producers of the popular HGTV show “Rock the Block” started looking for the right builder to create homes for season three, they were faced with myriad choices. Charleston, East Cooper and the greater Lowcountry offer some of the best builders in the nation — along with the best real estate– but one Mount Pleasant-based company stood out and won them over: Hunter Quinn Homes.

“With every new season of “Rock The Block”, our casting team searches the country looking for homebuilders ready to take on one of TV’s biggest renovation challenges,” said Wendi Fontes, executive producer of Big Table Media. “We knew Charleston would make a great home for the series and interviewed numerous builders as part of our efforts.”

Will Herring, founder and CEO of Hunter Quinn Homes, said that when they were approached in the summer of 2021, he and Todd [Nowicki, COO] decided to “take the query more seriously than they normally would have” – and once they decided they were interested, things moved swiftly. “The next thing I knew, we were in full production of a television show,” Herring remembered, laughing.

To add to the adventure, the Hunter Quinn team soon learned that the Nexton community, located in Summerville, was the show’s official pick for the season location. Though Hunter Quinn Homes has a sterling reputation around the Tri-county area — over 300 homes in various communities, including Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Clarendon and Calhoun counties — they’d never built in Nexton, and they certainly hadn’t built on such a snug deadline. Still, they embraced the opportunity.

“We build houses every day, but we normally build houses in 120 days. Then these guys show up and ask, ‘well, can you build one in 60 days?’ It was a challenge, and we like challenges,” Herring said, grinning.

Jason Harper, vice president of sales for Hunter Quinn Homes, commented that having Nexton and Summerville on fans’ radars could bring nothing but good things and more growth for the Lowcountry. “Having HGTV in Summerville and Nexton is really a big deal,” he mused. “Locals already know about the charm and beauty Summerville has to offer, and now the entire HGTV national audience is aware.”

“The familiarity with Nexton has been steadily increasing over the years, especially after opening Halls Chophouse and other world-class restaurants and businesses. But being featured on HGTV definitely put it over the top,” added Cassie Cataline, Nexton’s director of marketing.

Throughout the process of creating homes to feature on “Rock the Block,” many people worked diligently to cover all the bases, including Hunter Quinn’s Marketing Manager Krista Mott. Mott said she was on site during the building process, creating content that would garner visibility for the company. And it paid off – the YouTube channel earned droves of new viewers for the firm.

“At Hunter Quinn, we pride ourselves on being different in our approach to whatever opportunity comes our way and ‘Rock the Block’ was no exception. It was important to my marketing team that we find a creative way to get local viewers excited about something so big happening right in their backyard. Being onsite, interacting with talent, capturing unique behind-the-scenes footage and packaging it all into a video mini-series has granted locals a unique look into the making of ‘Rock the Block’ from the builder’s perspective. The strategy worked and the first video got over 24,000 views on our YouTube channel,” she noted.

Nowicki was impressed how both “Rock the Block’s” production team and Hunter Quinn Homes were able to complete everything on time for the show.

“Having Hollywood meet a local South Carolina builder to create a television show on a very fast-paced schedule was unique, but I was very impressed on how both teams meshed and came together as one to accomplish an incredible show,” he said.

“Overall, we felt Hunter Quinn Homes was best suited for a variety of reasons, including their creative leadership team, their great craftsmanship and their attention to detail,” added Wendi Fontes. “We definitely made the right choice as they excelled in every way and created a memorable experience for our teams.”

More exciting news has since surfaced — Hunter Quinn Homes is offering the same floor plans used for “Rock the Block” to buyers in other communities, including communities in Mount Pleasant. The floor plans have been available since April 9.

Of course, don’t expect your own building process to go quite as seamlessly as what is shown on the show. Whether you’re building a new home or doing some renovations to an existing home, it all takes a lot of planning, and much of the planning and prep work for “Rock the Block” happened long before the show graced TV screens. Furthermore, while TV makes a DIY renovation look like no big deal, it’s always best to enlist the help of a contractor.

“The design teams make it look so easy to knock down walls and cut new holes for more windows, for example,” said Harper. “Although these are great ideas and definitely add value to some homes, homeowners need to be aware that the design teams had access to the engineered house plans and could talk with us, as the builder, about what would work structurally. We would strongly advise any homeowner taking on a major renovation to speak with a general contractor and make sure everything is done safely.”

Ashley M. Powell, deputy county supervisor for Berkeley County, is confident newcomers interested in the Charleston metro area are going to be impressed by Berkeley County, and “Rock the Block” is just one more reason. She cited Cypress Gardens, Francis Marion National Forest and other attractions that make this part of the Lowcountry a “quality place to work and live.”

Powell commented, “For us, ‘Rock the Block’ has been an opportunity to show the world an award-winning master-planned community located right here in Berkeley County and to share some of the many things we love about where we are so fortunate to live.”

By Denise K. James

Todd Nowicki, COO of Hunter Quinn Homes Who Built Rock the Block Homes in Summerville’s Nexton Bobby Breault, Mt Pleasant HVAC, Helps AirMax Clients Feel More Comfortable in Their Homes 2022 Beautiful Homes of Coastal Carolina 2021 North Mount Pleasant Top 10 Most Expensive Homes Sold

Town proposes tax increase to pay for public projects

Voters in Mount Pleasant might have a chance to decide on a recreation referendum to improve specific recreation projects in the Town. At the June 14 town council meeting, councilmembers discussed the proposed tax millage increase.The proposed millage increase is four mills. An increase of one mill is equal to an additional $4 per every $100,000 in the appraised value of a home. For a home valued at $500,000, residents can expect an $80 yearly increase on their tax bill. For a home valued at $700,000, residents can expect a $112 incre...

Voters in Mount Pleasant might have a chance to decide on a recreation referendum to improve specific recreation projects in the Town. At the June 14 town council meeting, councilmembers discussed the proposed tax millage increase.

The proposed millage increase is four mills. An increase of one mill is equal to an additional $4 per every $100,000 in the appraised value of a home. For a home valued at $500,000, residents can expect an $80 yearly increase on their tax bill. For a home valued at $700,000, residents can expect a $112 increase.

The referendum would issue a $50,000,000 debt for 15 years at a 2.5% interest rate. According to the town, four mills will bring in approximately $4,400,000 in revenues and leave roughly $400,000 in operational expenses per year.

The funds would cover the costs of Rifle Range Road Park, Mount Pleasant Way, Park West Pool and the acquisition of greenspace for land preservation and passive use.

Specific improvements and additions to the projects include the following:

The construction, maintenance and operation of Rifle Range Road Park to include a multipurpose facility gymnasium, recreational program rooms, athletic fields, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, disc golf, sand volleyball courts, a playground, picnic pavilions, performance stage, boardwalk, trails and a fishing pier.

The acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of Mount Pleasant Way, a network of multi-use paths to link key portions of the town, including recreation facilities, parks and neighborhoods.

The renovation and maintenance of Park West Pool, including the demolition, redesign and building of the lobby, locker rooms and office to include the addition of family restrooms and changing rooms, installation of HVAC and the construction of adjacent multipurpose rooms for meetings and rentals.

Councilman Howard Chapman expressed that he would like to see a second senior center added to the list of projects in the referendum. He said adding a senior center to the northern part of Mount Pleasant is a part of the Town’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan, while other projects listed on the referendum are not.

“We need to make sure that when 49% of the voters in Mount Pleasant are 50 years old or older, we recognize that to get that passed,” Chapman said.

Councilman John Iacofano said he wanted the issuance to be $100,000,000 for 10 years and not phase out after the time is up.

“We have a lot of work to do in Mount Pleasant and I believe we can use the facilities and we can use the space,” Iacofano said.

A motion to approve the first reading of the proposed tax millage referendum passed unanimously. During the second reading next month, council may vote to amend the proposal. If the referendum is approved, it will appear on a ballot at the first opportunity.

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Mount Pleasant man accused of sex trafficking minor allegedly spent $45K for sex acts, drugs

Pictures and text messages belonging to a Mount Pleasant businessman included in new court documents reveal more information about his relationship with the minor he is accused of trafficking for sex.The vulgar messages became public as Earl Dawson Caldwell IV filed a motion June 3 to suppress that very evidence, which his defense attorneys argue was obtained through an unconstitutional search and seizure of his iPhone.Caldwell, the former 53-year-old CEO of global auditing firm AP Recovery, was arrested in October and charged ...

Pictures and text messages belonging to a Mount Pleasant businessman included in new court documents reveal more information about his relationship with the minor he is accused of trafficking for sex.

The vulgar messages became public as Earl Dawson Caldwell IV filed a motion June 3 to suppress that very evidence, which his defense attorneys argue was obtained through an unconstitutional search and seizure of his iPhone.

Caldwell, the former 53-year-old CEO of global auditing firm AP Recovery, was arrested in October and charged with conspiracy to traffic a minor for sex, trafficking a minor for sex and three counts of production of child pornography.

He is accused of trafficking a 17-year-old girl for sex between December 2020 and May 2021. He spent at least $45,000 to purchase sex acts from the minor and supply her with clothing, drugs and hotel rooms in the same time frame, public records show.

The minor told Caldwell she was over 18 when they first met, according to the motion to suppress, but authorities say he later learned the girl was a minor.

Homeland Security Investigations placed a notification in the databases of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement so the agency would be alerted if Caldwell left or entered the United States, the motion states.

A Border Protection officer seized Caldwell’s iPhone when he returned from a trip to the Bahamas on June 2, 2021. The officer extracted its contents and sent them to HSI agent Ken Hawsey.

Based on evidence Hawsey found during that search and seizure, which was conducted without a warrant, he obtained search warrants for Caldwell’s Facebook and iCloud accounts.

This violated Caldwell’s Fourth Amendment right that requires searches and seizures to be reasonable and usually requires a warrant, Caldwell’s defense attorneys argue in the motion to suppress. The defense is asking a federal judge to decide whether the search and seizure was constitutional, and if any of the evidence gathered can be used against Caldwell.

HSI Supervisory Agent Scott Crabb declined to comment.

Homeland Security evidence exhibits submitted as part of the motion to suppress provide a timeline of Caldwell’s interactions with the 17-year-old girl.

Four videos were recovered from Caldwell’s iCloud in December 2020. They depict Caldwell inviting the minor to his home and setting up a camera to record a “commercial sex act.” One shows the minor performing oral sex on a man, according to the exhibits.

Several images of the minor in Caldwell’s Mount Pleasant and Beaufort County homes from January and February 2021 were also recovered.

Messages obtained from electronic devices allegedly show Caldwell asked someone named “MM” in January 2021 if they knew of other girls with “similar looks, age” to the minor.

The “MM” could refer to Jessica “Michelle” Mills, a co-defendant charged in the case.

Caldwell allegedly sent a Facebook message to the victim in March 2021 stating the two had been together 23 times since meeting the previous November. He said he’d received oral sex five times and paid the minor at least $26,000 in cash.

“I know you hate doing plays. I empathize with you,” Caldwell wrote, according to the exhibit. “It is however your choice. You are 17.”

Web history from Caldwell’s phone also showed he visited commercial sex websites more than 800 times between May and June 2021.

Caldwell’s defense attorneys, Gregory Harris and Debbie Barbier, declined to comment while the government is responding to the motion to suppress.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Shoemake declined to comment on the case.

The motion to suppress was part of a flurry of motions filed this month in Caldwell’s case, which has not yet been scheduled for trial.

Defense attorneys asked a federal judge in motions filed June 6 to order prosecutors to turn over all evidence in the case, including medical records for the victim and unredacted information from her cellphone.

They are also seeking grand jury indictment records that are typically secret. Hawsey, the Homeland Security agent, testified at Caldwell’s bond hearing in October that the businessman had rearranged the girl’s clothing before he videotaped her having sex with another man at a hotel.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carra Henderson argued at the hearing the gesture was further evidence that Caldwell sought to control the victim. But in February the prosecutor backtracked — Caldwell rearranged the clothing of a “second girl” who was in the room, not the victim in this case.

Barbier argues in her motion that similar false testimony may have been provided to the grand jury, which justified release of records from the proceedings.

Federal authorities became aware of the sex-trafficking operation in April 2021 after the victim visited a Georgia hospital for appendicitis. The minor told the hospital staff she was forced to have sex with 10 to 15 men a day.

Caldwell’s co-defendants, Mills and Cederick Riley, admitted in April they conspired to traffic the girl for sex. The federal offense carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Mills, 30, reportedly met the minor at a crack house in Beaufort or Jasper County. Riley, 34, met the minor while she was living with Mills and struck up a romantic, yet abusive, relationship with her, according to Henderson.

The government has until June 27 to respond to the motions. No hearing has been scheduled.

All three defendants remain lodged in the Charleston County jail after being denied bail.

Three Defendants who Participated in Kickback and Bribery Schemes Involving Federal Housing Grant Programs Sentenced in Federal Court

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — Charles “Chuck” Willys Mincey, Jr., 65, of Flora, Mississippi, Karl Henry Zerbst, Jr., 62, of Mount Pleasant,, and Brian Daniel Herndon, 46, of Summerville, were sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty for their roles in various kickback and bribery schemes involving federal housing grant programs in the Charleston area.Evidence presented to the Court showed that from December of 2014 until at least March of 2019, Mincey and Zerbst participated in a scheme to unlawfully pr...

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — Charles “Chuck” Willys Mincey, Jr., 65, of Flora, Mississippi, Karl Henry Zerbst, Jr., 62, of Mount Pleasant,, and Brian Daniel Herndon, 46, of Summerville, were sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty for their roles in various kickback and bribery schemes involving federal housing grant programs in the Charleston area.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that from December of 2014 until at least March of 2019, Mincey and Zerbst participated in a scheme to unlawfully profit from their work on certain Affordable Housing Program grants disbursed by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to low income households of United States Military veterans and spouses of veterans for house rehabilitation.

In 2014, Mincey approached Zerbst to be an intermediary for grants for which Mincey and his company, Palmettos at Folly, was the designated contractor. As an intermediary, it was Zerbst’s role to locate prospective program participants, hire and manage the contractors conducting the rehabilitative work, and hire and manage third-party inspectors to inspect the work and assess it for cost reasonableness. As part of their arrangement, Mincey and Zerbst agreed to split the profits they made from the grants 50/50. This agreement was in violation of the express rules of the grant program, which prohibited an intermediary from receiving more than 12% of the grant funds, and also prohibited any conflict of interests or appearance of a conflict of interest with any other party to the grant application.

During the relevant time period, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta sent the grant funds to community member banks, who then disbursed the funds to Zerbst’s company KHZ. Zerbst retained his intermediary fees and then wrote checks for construction costs to Mincey’s company, Palmetto’s at Folly. Mincey then funneled grant money back to Zerbst, by writing checks from Palmetto’s at Folly to Charleston Strategic Consultants LLC, a company controlled by Zerbst. In total, Mincey funneled at least $246,689.99 in unlawful kickbacks to Zerbst.

Evidence showed that Mincey also participated in a bribery scheme with a City of Charleston employee Brian Herndon in order to win construction bids for housing projects funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a Project Manager for housing rehabilitation at the Charleston Department of Housing and Community Development, Herndon had access to non-public information regarding cost estimates generated for each project grant, which he shared with Mincey in exchange for cash payments between $200 and $500. In total, Herndon accepted at least $15,000 in bribe money.

Senior United States District Court Judge Margaret B. Seymour sentenced all three individuals. Mincey was sentenced to eight months in federal prison, followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision, and ordered to pay $91,990 in restitution. Zerbst was sentenced to five years of probation, and paid $246,689.99 in restitution prior to his sentencing. Herndon was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by a year of court-ordered supervision. Judge Seymour also granted a money judgment against Herndon in the amount of $15,000, equal to the amount of bribe money that Herndon received from Mincey from 2014 to 2020. There is no parole in the federal system.

The two cases were investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allessandra Stewart prosecuted the cases.

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