News and Press Releases

Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Ammunition Charge

October 9, 2013

Contact Person: Stacey D. Haynes (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that MICHAEL ANGELO KARRISON, age 47, of Columbia, South Carolina pled guilty today in federal court.  KARRISON pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(e).  Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that at approximately 7:13 a.m. on June 23, 2012, an officer with the Columbia Police Department was on routine patrol in the Elmwood Avenue area when he noticed KARRISON sitting on a brick wall with an open can of Schlitz Malt Liquor next to him.  KARRISON admitted the liquor was his and was placed under arrest for possession/consumption of alcohol in public.  A search incident to arrest revealed a fully loaded Bersa .380 caliber handgun in KARRISON’s waistband. After advise of rights, KARRISON admitted to buying the firearm on the street.  A check of a law enforcement database revealed that the firearm had previously been reported as stolen. 
The investigation revealed that KARRISON, who had previously served time in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) for various state offenses, had signed a SCDC form on three separate occasions (2004, 2007, and 2008) acknowledging that he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to his felony convictions.  KARRISON is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior state convictions dating back to 1983 for housebreaking, grand larceny, distribution of marijuana, armed robbery (two separate counts), strong arm robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, assault on a correctional employee, attempted carjacking, unlawful carrying of a firearm (2 separate counts), and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Mr. Nettles stated that KARRISON, an armed career criminal, faces a statutory mandatory minimum of fifteen (15) years imprisonment with a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of five years to follow the term of imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Columbia Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.  Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.


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