Pubdate: Thu, 26 Oct 2000
Source: Post and Courier (SC)
Copyright: 2000 1999 Evening Post Publishing Co.
Contact:  134 Columbus Street Charleston, SC 29403-4800
Author: Glenn Smith


A great-grandmother from Ridgeville is accused of smuggling 400 pounds of
marijuana into South Carolina to supplement her disability income.

Charleston police say the woman drove several hundred miles to northern
states to buy the weed and then transported it back home for sale. She
allegedly made 11 dope-buying trips between early 1999 and last month, when
a 150-pound shipment rolled into the state, police said.

Lucy Anna Traynom, 57, of La Dolce Avenue in Ridgeville, is charged with
trafficking marijuana. On Wednesday, Magistrate Jack Guedalia set bail at

Traynom was arrested Tuesday night at her home, where police seized 14
pounds of marijuana and $12,000, said Charleston Sgt. James Mackey. Police
already had confiscated 10 pounds of pot from an Oct. 5 delivery Traynom
allegedly made to a Savannah Highway location, according to an arrest

With her fluffy white hair and flower-print shirt, Traynom seemed out of
place sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with young men on the bail court bench.
Guedalia himself remarked that it was unusual to see a woman of her age and
status arrested on such charges.

"You are talking about a major amount of drugs here," Guedalia said. Traynom
said little during the hearing, with most of her comments barely above a
whisper. But she did display a sassy side when she quibbled with Mackey's
estimate of marijuana's street value.

Mackey told the judge marijuana was selling for about $1,200 a pound.
Traynom scoffed and said the product is a lot cheaper.

Guedalia told her she should keep quiet until she could consult a lawyer.

Mackey said Traynom is unemployed and allegedly used marijuana money to
supplement disability payments she receives. He said he did not know the
nature of her disability or how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren
she has. He described Traynom as an unusual suspect.

"This is a major marijuana case. That's what makes it so interesting,"
Mackey said. "You're talking about a great-grandmother, a 57-year-old lady
with sandy white hair and house slippers."

The case calls to mind the popular British movie "Saving Grace," a story of
an aging widow who turns to growing marijuana after her husband leaves her
penniless and deeply in debt. Police say Traynom left the growing to others
and operated more of a transport and distribution business.

Traynom is accused of entering the marijuana trade in early 1999 with a
relative, according to an arrest affidavit. When the relative was jailed,
she allegedly made the purchases herself on several road trips to the north,
the affidavit stated.

Investigators say Traynom made a total of 11 trips and brought back 400
pounds of marijuana, which she helped distribute in Charleston and Colleton
counties. She is accused of transporting 150 pounds of weed in one shipment
alone last month, an affidavit stated.

Police received information about the drug operation and monitored an Oct. 5
drug buy in West Ashley, Mackey said. Traynom allegedly delivered 10 pounds
to the location and collected $8,500, according to an arrest affidavit.

Mackey said Traynom's arrest was part of an ongoing investigation. Mount
Pleasant police and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office also are
participating in the probe, he said.
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