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Press Release

Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

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

COLUMBIA, S.C. —Lontre Jason Wise, 51, of Columbia, has pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute both crack cocaine and marijuana.

Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that the Columbia Police Department Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit received an anonymous complaint in reference to the sale of illegal narcotics at a residence located on House Street.  The complainant stated there was constant foot and vehicle traffic at the residence, which people were only observed being at the residence for minutes at a time. Based on the information provided from the complainant, a confidential informant was sent to the residence on two different occasions to purchase marijuana.  During both occasions, the confidential informant purchased the marijuana from Wise. Based on the complaint and controlled purchases, a search warrant was obtained for the residence.

Columbia Police Department officers executed the search warrant for the residence. During the search, the police located Wise and four others within the residence. Wise was immediately taken into custody on arrest warrants for the distribution of marijuana. Wise was searched and the police found a clear container containing crack cocaine on him.

During the search of the residence, a black book bag was located on the couch. The book bag was searched and contained a large clear plastic bag of marijuana. The police also found a 9mm handgun and a .38 caliber revolver in the book bag. 

The police also located a safe underneath the couch with a black pouch inside of it.  The pouch contained pieces of crack cocaine, Wise’s South Carolina driver’s license, social security card, debit card, and $3,430 in cash. Wise told the officers that the safe was his. There were multiple hand-rolled cigars containing marijuana found throughout the living room of the residence and a plate on the couch in the living room that also contained marijuana.

Wise faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $1,000,000 and three years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Wise after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Columbia Police Department’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney William K. Witherspoon is prosecuting the case.



Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist,, (803) 929-3000

Updated April 3, 2024

Drug Trafficking