Skip to main content
Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Firearms Crimes

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Ralph Allison Pitt, Jr., 46, of Columbia, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that, on December 6, 2017, federal agents and task force officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (ACHIDTA) and investigators with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and Richland County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant on a hotel room shared by Pitt and a co-defendant, who were targets in a drug operation.  Law enforcement located various controlled substances including approximately 179 grams of pure methamphetamine in a substance that weighed more than 380 grams and recovered a Smith & Wesson Model “669” 9mm pistol inside a duffle bag with a luggage tag bearing Pitt’s name.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Pitt to 180 months imprisonment, to be followed by a five-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This prosecution is part of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (HIDTA) investigation. HIDTA is a grant program purposed with improving public safety and well-being by disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering organizations through intelligence-driven multi-jurisdictional operations; enhancing the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement operations through training; and improving communication and information sharing among criminal justice, drug prevention, and drug treatment professionals in support of the objectives as administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Additional information can be found at,, and

This case was investigated by the Columbia’s DEA ACHIDTA, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, and Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Bales is prosecuting the case.



Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982

Updated September 6, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses