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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to over 7 Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Firearm Charges

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Melvin Roshad Simuel, 36, of Columbia, was sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana.

Evidence presented to the court showed that in 2018, Simuel was arrested on three separate occasions for possession of firearms and distribution quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana. Two of the guns had been reported stolen, and Simuel was on probation for a state firearm conviction at the time of the 2018 incidents.

Federal law prohibits Simuel from possessing firearms and ammunition based on prior state court burglary and firearms convictions. 

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Simuel to 90 months in prison, to be 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.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD), the Columbia Police Department (CPD), and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD). Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Taylor is prosecuting the case.



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

Updated September 8, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses