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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to 160 Months in Federal Prison for Gun and Drug Offenses

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Enoch Palmer, 24, of Columbia, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on February 20, 2022, an officer with the West Columbia Police Department performed a traffic stop on Palmer for driving without headlights. Palmer was the sole occupant of the vehicle, which was registered to him, and he was driving with a suspended license. Palmer was arrested for the license violation and law enforcement found a large quantity of marijuana underneath the driver’s seat of the car.

On April 24, 2022, Palmer, a member of a street gang, made a social media video threatening to retaliate against rival gang members after his involvement in an altercation. The following day, the City of Columbia Police Department (CPD) responded to a ShotSpotter alert on Millwood Ave and recovered 9 7.62x39mm shell casings. Through further investigation, CPD officers recovered surveillance video of Palmer leaning out of the driver’s side of a car while firing an Ak-47 style pistol across Millwood Avenue towards a group of people. Palmer shot a rival gang member in the upper body. The victim was released from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Palmer to 160 months in prison, consisting of 60 months for marijuana charge and 100 months for the felon-in-possession charge, followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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 West Columbia Police Department, City of Columbia Police Department, Midlands Gang Task Force, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elle Klein and Lamar J. Fyall are prosecuting the case.



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

Updated July 27, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses