Skip to main content
Press Release

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

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Leon Johnny King, 38, of Columbia, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that in June 2019, Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) narcotics investigators began investigating King for drug trafficking activity in the Columbia area. Investigators made a series of controlled buys of heroin from King, which led to investigators executing a search warrant at King’s apartment in July 2019. Investigators found a loaded .380 pistol and a quantity of heroin in a bag in King’s bedroom. After his arrest, investigators found a quantity of crack cocaine and more heroin on his person. Federal law prohibits King from possessing firearms or ammunition based on convictions for trafficking cocaine and autobreaking.

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced King 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.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Taylor is prosecuting the case.



Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office,, (803) 929-3000

Updated June 27, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses