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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to 10 Years on Federal Drug Charge

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Arma Victor Strong, III, 33, of Columbia, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana.   

Evidence presented to the court showed that on July 8, 2021, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigator on surveillance in an unmarked car in a motel parking lot on Nates Road saw a person walk over to an occupied car and engage in a drug deal. As the person walked away from the car, the deputy saw and took a photo of what appeared to be narcotics in the person’s hand.

As the car left the area, the deputy radio’ed a marked patrol unit, which later conducted a traffic stop of the car on Two Notch Road after observing traffic violations. Due to the strong smell of marijuana coming from the car, the car was searched and a shoebox containing marijuana, pills containing methamphetamine, and cocaine was located in the backseat. Strong, the driver, admitted possessing the drugs and having distributed some earlier. 

Strong faced increased penalties based on prior felony state convictions for possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Strong to 120 months in prison, to be followed by a 6-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

During the sentencing hearing, the Government also moved to estreat a portion of Strong’s surety bond, which was revoked last month after he violated conditions of release. The court granted the motion to estreat and ordered that 10% of the surety bond be estreated.

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.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes prosecuted the case.



Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney,, (803) 929-3000

Updated July 27, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking