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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to Federal Prison for Selling Firearms to Prohibited Person

Contact Person: Nick Bianchi (843) 727-4381

Columbia, South Carolina---- Acting United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Tony Allen Riley, age 62, of Goose Creek, SC, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for selling a firearm to a person he knew to be under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.  Senior United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour of Charleston sentenced Riley to twelve months and one day imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that in December 2013, on two separate occasions, Riley sold firearms to an individual that Riley knew to be under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.  At the time Riley sold the firearms, he was employed as a deputy with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, where he had previously held the rank of lieutenant prior to his retirement in 2008 and subsequent return to the Sheriff’s Office in 2009.

Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said, “Community policing is a time-honored practice here in our state.  Effective community policing is founded on both the desire of officers to protect and serve and the trust of the people the officers serve.  That trust is critical to both the safety of our officers and our communities.  For this reason, both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working hand-in-hand with the Department of Justice, will give top priority to prosecuting those few officers who commit abuses, dishonoring their badge and the bravery and integrity of their fellow officers.”

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.

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Updated August 17, 2016