Federal Jury Convicts Florence Man on Gun and Drug Charges
Gregory Gibson Faces Possible Life Sentence in Federal Prison
Florence, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that a federal jury convicted Gregory Bernard Gibson, 44, of Florence, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. The 12-person jury unanimously found Gibson guilty on two of the three counts charged after a 1.5-day trial and a short deliberation.
The evidence presented at trial showed that a deputy from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling in Florence when Gibson pulled out in front of him, failing to yield the right-of-way. The deputy initiated a stop on Gibson’s car. Gibson continued to drive for a short distance, making two turns before he stopped. As Gibson continued to drive, the deputy could see Gibson making furtive movements as if he were hiding something. After Gibson stopped, the deputy cautiously approached Gibson’s driver side window and proceeded with the traffic stop. While standing next to Gibson’s driver side window, the deputy smelled marijuana. Another deputy arrived on scene, and they searched the car and found a loaded firearm in the center console. Directly behind the center console, they found a backpack containing cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, a cutting agent, multiple plastic baggies, and a digital scale with white and green residue. Inside a void underneath the cup holder area, they found a large piece of crack cocaine and 300 tablets of methamphetamine. Federal law prohibits Gibson from possessing a firearm based on a prior federal conviction.
United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis of Columbia presided over the trial and will sentence Gibson after receiving and reviewing a presentence report prepared by the United States Probation Office. Gibson faces 15 years to life in federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Florence County Sheriff’s Office Proactive Community Enforcement (P.A.C.E.) Team. It was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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. Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Hummel and Everett McMillian of the Florence office prosecuted the case.