Convicted Felon Sentenced to 188 Months in Federal Prison on Gun and Drug Charges
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated today that Justin Dewayne Barr, age 33, of Scranton, SC, was sentenced in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Cocaine Base, and Marijuana. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell, of Florence, sentenced Barr to 188 months in federal prison with 5 years of supervised release to follow, to run consecutive to a two-year federal supervised release revocation which Barr is currently serving.
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, Justin Barr, the deputy smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and asked Barr to step out. After exiting the vehicle, Barr ran, and a foot chase ensued. During the chase, Barr fought with the deputy and turned the deputy’s wrist, pressing the deputy’s taser into the deputy’s inner thigh while it was cycling and causing the deputy to be briefly incapacitated. Barr was taken into custody shortly thereafter. A 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 for which he could have received more than one year in prison.
The case was investigated by agents of ATF, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake City Police Department and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Hummel of the Florence office handled the case. Project CeaseFire is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.