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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced to over Four Years in Federal Prison for Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition

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

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kentrell Thompson, 34, of Columbia, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that on July 26, 2020, shortly after 4:00 a.m., City of Columbia Police Department (CPD) officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert of 10 shots fired at an apartment complex in Columbia. CPD received information that three men were possibly involved in the incident and that they had walked into one of the apartments. CPD officers went to the apartment and spoke with Thompson, who denied any involvement in the shooting incident. Further investigation led officers to discover a video of the shooting incident that had been recorded by a nearby city camera. Thompson was identified in the video firing a large revolver several times in the air. The revolver was later found in the apartment where Thompson first spoke with CPD officers. The revolver was loaded with one round of ammunition.   

Thompson was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition due to various state felony convictions. In 2013, Thompson was convicted of strong-arm robbery. While serving a probationary term on the robbery conviction, Thompson was arrested in 2015 for selling cocaine and marijuana. He was later convicted on those drug charges and his probation was revoked. In 2018, Thompson was convicted of assault and battery first degree. Thompson was on probation for the assault and battery first degree conviction when the July 2020 shooting incident occurred.   

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Thompson to 57 months in prison, to be followed by a two-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 City of Columbia Police Department (CPD). Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Taylor is prosecuting the case.



Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist,, (803) 929-3000

Updated November 30, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses