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Press Release

Fort Mill Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison on Firearm Charge

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

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Shiquisa Monique Watts, a/k/a “Quisha,” age 23, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, was sentenced to over two years in federal prison after pleading guilty in March 2018 to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Evidence presented in court established that on September 10, 2016, officers with the Fort Mill Police Department responded to a fight in the parking lot of a local shopping center. Officers gathered information that one of the individuals involved in the altercation was Watts and that she had been armed with a handgun. They made contact with Watts at her home as she was exiting a vehicle. Officers located a loaded Ruger .380 caliber handgun in the car and Watts admitted to possessing it in her pocket during the altercation. Further investigation revealed that the firearm had previously been reported stolen.   

Federal law prohibits Watts from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon her prior state convictions for distribution of marijuana 2nd offense and distribution of marijuana within the proximity of a park.    

United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs, of Columbia, accepted Watts’ guilty plea and sentenced her to 27 months in federal prison followed by 3 years of court-ordered supervision. The court allowed Watts to self-report to federal prison. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Fort Mill Police Department. This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of 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.

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Contact

Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated December 18, 2018

Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods