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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to 15.8 Years Impirsonment for 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 Wade Andrew Albright, age 43, of Columbia, South Carolina was sentenced to 188 months (15.8 years) imprisonment today in federal court. In November 2015, Albright plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e). Senior United States District Court Judge Margaret B. Seymour determined that Albright was an armed career criminal, subject to enhanced penalties.  The imposed term of imprisonment will be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Evidence presented at the earlier change of plea hearing established that on the early morning hours of November 29, 2013, officers with the Lexington County Narcotics Enforcement Team (“NET”) set up surveillance in order to arrest Albright on outstanding state warrants for distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine. Officers observed Albright drive into the employee parking lot for the plant where he was employed at the time. As officers approached his truck, Albright got back into the truck and fled. Officers observed Albright drive into a neighborhood. Shortly thereafter, officers observed Albright’s truck in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the area, the driver’s door was open and the truck was still running. Other officers then observed Albright along a wood line. After a brief chase, Albright was arrested. A search incident to arrest revealed numerous pill bottles containing individually bagged pills, cocaine, and marijuana both on Albright’s person and in a book bag he discarded while running. Officers also located a located Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver and additional rounds of ammunition on Albright. A check of the firearm revealed that it had previously been reported stolen in Richland County.

Albright is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior state convictions for burglary 2nd degree (3 separate convictions, each involving a firearm), strong arm robbery (3 separate convictions, each involving a firearm), escape, grand larceny (two separate counts), assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature stemming from an incident in a detention center, assault and battery of high and aggravated nature stemming from an incident in the South Carolina Department of Corrections), and manslaughter (stemming from the stabbing of another inmate in the South Carolina Department of Corrections). Albright is subject to enhanced penalties under 18 U.S.C. ' 924(e) in light of his prior convictions in state court for violent felonies.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Lexington County Narcotics Enforcement Team 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.

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Updated March 22, 2016