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Press Release

Charleston Man Indicted for Felon in Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal grand jury returned a single count indictment against Dontrell Lamar Watson, age 33, of Charleston, for possessing a firearm and ammunition with a prior felony conviction.

The indictment alleges that on December 9, 2021, Dontrell Watson knowingly possessed a Taurus 9mm pistol and 9mm ammunition after having been previously convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. Additional evidence suggests Dontrell Watson knew he was federally prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition. 

Watson faces a maximum penalty of ten years for this charge. He is currently detained pending trial.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Lietzow is prosecuting the case. 

U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982

Updated May 10, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses