News and Press Releases

Williston Man Sentenced to 188 Months on Firearm and Drug Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2013

Contact Person: Stacey Haynes (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Julius Cuthbertson, age 32, of Williston, South Carolina was sentenced to 188 months (15.8 years) imprisonment, which will be followed by 5 years of supervised release.  Cuthbertson previously pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e) and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C).  Chief United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour of Columbia imposed the sentence.

Evidence presented at the earlier change of plea hearing established that a little after midnight on June 23, 2009, an officer with the Williston Police Department was on routine patrol when he noticed a person driving without wearing a seatbelt.  The officer activated his blue lights to initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle.  The vehicle continued down the road a short distance and then pulled into a residence before stopping.  The officer recognized the residence as being one where a shooting had occurred only a month earlier in May 2009, wherein Cuthbertson had been shot.  Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer found Cuthbertson to be the driver. Cuthbertson did not have a driver’s license in his possession and investigation revealed that Cuthbertson’s license had expired while he was in state prison.  Cuthbertson was placed under arrest and a search incident to that arrest revealed a fully loaded Hi-Point .380 caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number in Cuthbertson’s waistband and a bag of crack cocaine, approximately 1.14 grams, in his pocket.

Cuthbertson, who was released from state prison in February of 2009 after serving a 10 year state sentence for shooting two individuals, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior state convictions for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (wherein he shot an individual), malicious injury to personal property, and assault and battery with intent to kill (two separate counts for shooting two individuals).   Based upon this extensive prior adult record, along with a juvenile adjudication for assault with a deadly weapon (wherein he shot at an individual), the court found Cuthbertson to be an armed career criminal subject to enhanced penalties on the firearm charge under Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(e). 

The case was investigated by the Williston 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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