The Aiken police have apprehended a notorious North Augusta drug dealer, Freddie Lee Simpkins, in connection with a 2022 murder that took the life of Charles L. Bradley. The timing of the arrest is notable, as it falls on the one-year anniversary of the victim’s shooting death. Simpkins, a repeat offender with previous convictions for drugs, burglary, and fleeing police, was spotted by officers on Wednesday sitting on the front porch of a home along Carolina Springs Drive in North Augusta. However, he attempted to flee and was captured after a brief foot chase.
Simpkins is linked to the shooting death of Charles L. Bradley, an Aiken father with six sons and one daughter. The victim’s body was discovered in a Nissan sedan on Hampton Avenue after gunfire was heard throughout Crosland Park. Another suspect, 24-year-old Javon Croft, was arrested last summer in connection with the killing.
Simpkins is also suspected in a shooting that occurred the weekend before the murder, in which a victim was shot several times while walking down York Street near Edgefield Avenue. The incident led to attempted murder charges against Simpkins.
Last month, Simpkins evaded Aiken police when they spotted him, but they searched the car he was in and found 2.7 grams of heroin and 29 Oxycodone pills. At the time of the murder, Simpkins had unserved warrants for dealing drugs in 2020, which accused him of dealing cocaine, Ecstasy, and marijuana. Police found 266 Ecstasy pills, along with a quantity of cocaine and marijuana, and tied it to him.
Simpkins has a history of criminal activity dating back to his teenage years. As a teenager, he was charged with assaulting a school employee, although the charge was later dropped. Despite his previous convictions, Simpkins continued to engage in criminal activity, leading to his latest arrest.
The apprehension of Simpkins involved several law enforcement agencies, including the ATF RAGE Unit Task Force, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Augusta Department of Public Safety. The agencies worked together to capture Simpkins and bring him to justice.
In a statement following the arrest, Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt emphasized the importance of working together to combat crime. “We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to keep our communities safe,” he said. “This arrest is an example of how collaboration can help bring dangerous criminals to justice.”
The apprehension of Simpkins has brought some measure of closure to the family of Charles L. Bradley, who have been mourning his loss for the past year. “We are grateful to the law enforcement agencies who worked tirelessly to bring Freddie Lee Simpkins to justice,” said Bradley’s sister, Lisa. “While nothing can bring back our brother, we can take comfort in knowing that his killer has been caught.”
The arrest of Freddie Lee Simpkins serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle against drugs and violence in our communities. It highlights the need for continued cooperation among law enforcement agencies to combat crime and bring criminals to justice. As Sheriff Hunt noted, “We will not rest until we have made our communities safer for everyone.”