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Press Release

Four Columbia Men Sentenced to Multi-Year Terms in Federal Prison for Selling Drugs and Guns to Undercover Law Enforcement Officer

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Four Columbia men have been sentenced to federal prison after selling drugs and guns to an undercover law enforcement officer.  Evidence presented to the court showed that between January and March of 2020, an undercover agent conducted 13 controlled buys of drugs and guns from the four co-defendants. In total, the undercover officer purchased more than 120 grams of crack cocaine, 66 grams of fentanyl, a small quantity of heroin, and 12 firearms from the group. 

Thomas Lee Thompson, Jr., 29, was a source of supply for some of the heroin and fentanyl sold.  During one of the controlled buys, on February 12, 2020, Thompson supplied his co-defendant, Gaylon Mareese Green, with a heroin/fentanyl mixture, which Greene then sold to the undercover officer. Thompson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and fentanyl. He was sentenced to 92 months in federal prison, with a 3-year term of court-ordered supervision to follow.  

Gaylon Mareese Greene, 51, was the hand-to-hand distributor in all 13 sales. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to 180 months in prison, with 8 years of court-ordered supervision to follow.

Calvin Lionell Thomas, 40, of Columbia, was the source of supply for more than 80 grams of crack cocaine and a firearm sold to the undercover officer. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to 120 months in prison, with 5 years of court-ordered supervision to follow. 

Quinton Deshawn Howell, 35, of Columbia, was Green’s source of supply for heroin during one controlled buy, negotiating the prices and terms of a future sale. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and fentanyl and was sentenced to 30 months in prison, with 6 years of supervised release to follow.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis imposed the sentences. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.

This case was investigated by the Columbia Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Flynn prosecuted the case.

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Contact

Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, brook.andrews@usdoj.gov, (803) 929-3000

Updated August 14, 2023

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses