Batesburg-Leesville Man Convicted on Federal Drug Charges
Contact Person: William K. Witherspoon (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that John Timothy Cannon, a/k/a “Mr. JT.,” age 63, of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, was convicted Monday by a federal jury in Columbia, of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, a violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1). Cannon was also convicted of four (4) counts of using a telephone to arrange drug deals, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b). United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia, presided over the trial and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the trial established that in 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating a violent street gang operating in Columbia, SC. They obtained wiretaps on a number of telephones and determined these gang members were involved in selling cocaine and crack cocaine. The FBI then tapped the telephone of the gang’s cocaine suppliers, which ultimately led to a major cocaine distributor in Batesburg, SC. The FBI then tapped the distributor’s telephone and learned that this supplier, starting in 2008, began to supply Cannon with cocaine for resale to local drug dealers. This arrangement continued until the Batesburg distributor was arrested, pled guilty and sentenced to federal prison in 2012. Thereafter, Cannon found another distributor and continued his sale of large amounts of cocaine to persons in Batesburg-Leesville, Columbia and surrounding areas. The evidence presented at trial included wiretap calls on which Cannon was overheard ordering three (3) ounces of cocaine multiple times a week during a sixty (60) day time period of the wiretaps. The evidence also included testimony from persons who purchased cocaine from Cannon.
Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty for these offenses is Life imprisonment and a fine of $8,000,000.
The case was investigated by the Columbia Violent Gang Task Force, which is comprised of agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Columbia Police Department, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys William K. Witherspoon and Jane B. Taylor of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.