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Press Release

Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearm Charge

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

Contact Person: Stacey Haynes (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Aaryon Brian Dowdy, a/k/a “Trouble,” age 25, of Columbia, South Carolina, pled guilty today in federal court. Dowdy plead guilty 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), and 924(e).  Chief United States District Terry L. Wooten accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on January 3, 2014, Dowdy and another individual were involved at an altercation inside a convenience store on Farrow Road in Columbia. Evidence showed that during the altercation, Dowdy pulled a handgun and shot the other individual in the head.  Dowdy then fled the scene. The incident was captured on videotape. The Columbia Police Department issued state warrants for Dowdy’s arrest and he was apprehended in Orangeburg on January 14, 2014.  At the time of his arrest on January 14, 2014, Dowdy had a loaded .357 caliber handgun in his possession. The investigation revealed that the handgun was the same handgun used in the January 3, 2014, incident. Dowdy is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior federal state convictions for burglary 2nd degree (2 separate offenses) and attempted burglary 2nd degree.    

Mr. Nettles stated that Dowdy faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.  However, if the district court determines that Dowdy is an armed career criminal based upon his prior state convictions, he faces a mandatory minimum 15 years imprisonment with a maximum of life, a $250,000 fine, and up to 5 years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Columbia Police Department, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.  Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.


Updated January 27, 2016