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Press Release

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Gun and Drug Charges in Federal Court

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

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Justin Dewayne Barr, age 32, of Scranton, SC, pled guilty in federal court in Florence to Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Cocaine Base, and Marijuana.  United States District Judge Bryan Harwell, of Florence, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that on February 28, 2017, a deputy with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office observed a vehicle make an improper turn and then proceed through a red light.  The deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.  Upon making contact with the driver of the vehicle, Justin Barr, the deputy smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and asked Barr to step out of the vehicle.  After Barr exited the vehicle, Barr ran, and a foot chase ensued.  At one point during the chase, Barr fought with the deputy and turned the deputy’s wrist, turning the taser into the deputy’s inner thigh while it was cycling, causing the deputy to be briefly incapacitated. Barr was taken in custody shortly thereafter. 

A subsequent search of Barr’s person revealed two bags of marijuana and just over $1,000 in cash.  A search of the vehicle revealed a bag of cocaine, a bag of cocaine base, a set of digital scales, and a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, loaded with eleven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.  The evidence presented also established that prior to his possession of the firearm, Barr had been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.  

Ms. Drake stated the defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake City Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Hummel of the Florence office handled the case.



Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated October 27, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses