Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Firearms and Drugs to ATF
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA —Derrall Lanard Reed, a/k/a “Ric0,”35, of Columbia, has pleaded guilty to five counts of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and four counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that in early 2020, agents from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), along with local agencies, conducted an investigation into firearms within the Columbia area. During this investigation, undercover ATF agents were introduced to Reed, who during five transactions in February 2020 sold five handguns, many of which were loaded, and crack cocaine and cocaine to undercover ATF agents. During one of the transactions, the undercover agent tried to buy Reed’s personal firearm, but he refused, saying he didn’t want to be “naked” (without a gun). Reed was arrested on federal charges and detained without bond on March 12, 2020, when he showed up to sell another firearm to the undercover agents. A federal search warrant was executed on his home. Inside the home, agents found his personal firearm, which had a high capacity magazine, and various rounds of ammunition. Of the six handguns recovered by ATF during this investigation, three had previously been reported as having been stolen from residences or vehicles. Two were previously reported stolen in Richland County (August 2019 and October 2019) and one, which someone had attempted to obliterate the serial number, had previously been reported as having been stolen from a residence in Hoke County, North Carolina (November 2016). Additionally, two of the firearms, including the one recovered in Reed’s home, were preliminarily linked through ballistics analysis as having been involved in ShotSpotter incidents and other shooting incidents in Columbia on July 2019, November 2019, December 2019, and March 11, 2020.
Reed has prior state convictions for: possession of crack cocaine from 2004, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine from 2006, and assault and battery with intent to kill from 2006, where he shot another person in the thigh.
On the firearm charges, Reed faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and three years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. On the drug charges, Reed faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $2,000,000, and six years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Reed after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.
This investigation by the ATF, Columbia Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Midlands Gang Task Force was made possible by leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
The technology known as “ShotSpotter” relies upon acoustic sensors to pinpoint where gunfire occurs. Information from the sensors is sent to officers of the Columbia Police Department and 9-1-1 dispatchers through real-time digital alerts.
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.
Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes prosecuted the case.
Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982
Updated May 24, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods