The Daily Gamecock

Owner of Five Points bars arrested this summer on drug possession, manufacturing and distribution charges

<p>The street view of The Cotton Gin bustling with college students at night.&nbsp;</p>

The street view of The Cotton Gin bustling with college students at night. 

Retraction: (Oct. 19, 2021 at 4:32 p.m.): The original version of this article incorrectly stated the substances to which Sears’ charges relate. He was charged under South Carolina law with manufacturing and possession of substances in Schedule I, II, or III or flunitrazepam or analogue. This article has been retracted and amended to reflect the correct charges. The Daily Gamecock regrets the error.

The co-owner of several bars in Five Points was arrested this summer on six drug-related charges in Richland County. 

Jonathan Sears, 39, co-owns The Cotton Gin, The Bird Dog, Jake’s Bar and Grill, Pavlov’s Bar and Hendrix, a restaurant on Main Street. 

The charges include possession, possession with intent to distribute and manufacture of illegal substances.

He was charged under South Carolina law with manufacturing and possession of substances in Schedule I, II, or III or flunitrazepam or analogue, according to the Richland County Fifth Judicial Circuit Public Index

Sears has been charged, but not convicted, and is awaiting trial. He was released from jail without posting a bond on June 17, according to his lawyer Joe McCullough in reporting done by The Post and Courier.

Sears’s brother, Geoffrey Sears, was arrested on drug charges over the summer, according to the Richland County Fifth Judicial Circuit Public Index.

Prior to publication, The Daily Gamecock made numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach Joe McCulloch and Rep. Todd Rutherford, who represent the brothers. The Daily Gamecock was also unable to reach Columbia Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Timmons before publication, despite multiple attempts. 

The Daily Gamecock obtained a copy of a laboratory analysis report related to Jonathan Sears through a third party. The report lists the incident type as possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The Daily Gamecock has not been able to independently verify this information against Columbia Police Department records. 

After The Daily Gamecock reached out to the Columbia Police Department numerous times before and after publication, Columbia Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Timmons said The Daily Gamecock would need to file a public records request. 

The Daily Gamecock is in the process of filing a public records request for documents related to the case, including the full arrest warrant and laboratory analysis report. 

Editor's note: Kailey Cota contributed to the reporting in this article. This is a developing story and will be updated. The article was most recently updated at 4:50 on Oct. 21, 2021. 


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