Florence Man Sentenced to 42 Months on Federal Firearm Charge
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Jackie Tyrell Kennedy, age 25, of Florence, was sentenced today in federal court after pleading guilty in January to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia sentenced Kennedy to 42 months imprisonment, which will be followed by 3 years of supervised release.
Evidence presented in court established on October 13, 2017, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, along with officers and deputies from the Columbia Police Department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department executed a sting operation as part of “Operation Cross County,” targeting human sex trafficking. While investigating sex trafficking at a Columbia motel, agents encountered Kennedy, who fled on foot and dropped a Cobra .380 caliber handgun along the way. Agents were able to locate the firearm and determine Kennedy’s true identity after he provided a false name. Agents also recovered additional ammunition belonging to Kennedy inside the motel room. The female inside the motel room described Kennedy as sort of like her pimp.
Kennedy is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his August 2017 Virginia conviction for possession of ecstasy. Kennedy was on state probation for that offense at the time of this incident.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Columbia Police Department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and was prosecuted as part of Project CeaseFire, a joint federal, state and local initiative focused upon aggressively prosecuting firearm cases in an effort to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a crime reduction strategy originally launched in 2001. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority and reinstituted PSN nationwide. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.