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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Columbia Man Pleads to Federal Firearm Charge

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Marcus Terrelle Marsh, age 34, of Columbia, plead guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e). Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the United States Probation Office.

Evidence presented in court established that on July 25, 2017, at approximately 5:50 pm, an officer with the Benedict College Police Department was on patrol when he observed a black male, later identified as Marsh, walking on the sidewalk of the 2600 block of Elmwood Avenue in front of the Benedict College Business Development Center, approaching Two Notch Road. Officer Eggleston observed Marsh, who was clad in jean shorts and a white t-shirt, wearing a GPS ankle monitor on his lower leg and noticed what appeared to be a handgun on Marsh’s right hip area underneath the t-shirt. After the officer pulled his car around, Marsh turned and walked in the opposite direction, stopping on the porch of a nearby home[1]. When approached by the officer, Marsh refused a patdown and ran. As Marsh began to flee, the officer’s body cam footage showed the firearm on Marsh’s right hip area. The officer gave chase and observed Marsh discard the firearm. Marsh was apprehended and the firearm was recovered. Marsh provided the officer with a false name, but his identity was later discovered. 

Marsh is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior state convictions. Marsh has prior state convictions for unlawful carrying of a weapon, possession of crack cocaine, resisting arrest/assault on an officer while resisting arrest, failure to stop for blue light and siren (3 separate convictions), possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (2 separate convictions), possession with intent to distribute marijuana within the proximity of a park, possession with intent to distribute marijuana 2nd offense (2 separate convictions), trafficking crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within proximity of a park, and possession with intent to distribute ecstasy 2nd offense.  

Marsh faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release. However, if he is deemed an armed career criminal in light of his extensive prior convictions, he would face a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years with a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000, and 5 years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Benedict College Police Department and was prosecuted as part of Project CeaseFire, a joint federal, state and local initiative focused upon aggressively prosecuting firearm cases in an effort to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a crime reduction strategy originally launched in 2001. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority and reinstituted PSN nationwide. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.




[1] The resident later advised officers that they did not know MARSH.

Firearms Offenses
Stacey D. Haynes (803) 929-3000
Updated May 23, 2018