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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Columbia Man Pleads to Federal Firearm Charge and Misprison of Felony

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that Jokari T. Jones, age 36, of Columbia, plead guilty today in federal court to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and misprison of a felony, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 4, 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e). United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the United States Probation Office.

Evidence presented in court established that on July 29, 2017, Jones’ brother Shamari Delresse Jones, a/k/a “Amari, was arrested on state charges, including felon in possession of ammunition. Thereafter, Jokari T. Jones, who was on a state ankle monitor at the time, moved firearms and ammunition belonging to his brother from Columbia to their mother’s residence in Heath Springs, which is in Lancaster County. On July 30, 2017, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office responded to Jones’ mother’s home in reference to a shooting. No one was injured, but while at the home, a number of firearms and rounds of ammunition were recovered by law enforcement, including a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle with an extended magazine and two 12 gauge shotguns. Jones’ brother, a known gang member, had attended an offender notification meeting in October 2015, in which he, and others, were advised by law enforcement officials that should they be found in possession of firearms and ammunition, their case would be considered for federal prosecution in light of their extensive prior record. Jones moved the firearms in an effort to keep law enforcement from finding the firearms following his brother’s arrest for ammunition.    

Jones is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition and has prior South Carolina state convictions for unlawful carrying of a pistol (2003), assault with intent to kill and unlawful carrying of a pistol, wherein he shot at someone (2005), and carrying weapons on school property and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a crime of violence, wherein he shot a handgun on the premises of a local elementary school (2012). 

Jones faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release on the felon in possession of firearms and ammunition charge. He faces a maximum of 3 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 1 year of supervised release on the misprison of a felony charge.

Jones’ brother Shamari Delresse Jones, a/k/a “Amari,” entered a guilty plea in federal court in earlier this year to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and is currently awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Columbia Police Department, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office 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.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Stacey D. Haynes (803) 929-3000
Updated June 7, 2018