Georgia Gang Member on Bond for Murder Sentenced to Nearly 6 Years for Firearm Possession
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kendaryl Rogers a/k/a “Elajuwon Rogers,” 30, of Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced to 71 months – nearly six years – in federal prison for the possession of a firearm and ammunition recovered by the U.S. Marshals when Rogers was arrested in South Carolina for pending murder charges in Georgia. Rogers was a felon and therefore prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
On March 11, 2021, the U.S. Marshals determined that Rogers was at a hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. At the time, Rogers was on bond for state charges in Georgia for kidnapping, battery, and obstructing a person making an emergency call in an incident where Rogers is alleged to have struck a female victim with a closed fist in the face. He was also wanted for arrest on 18 additional felony charges out of Georgia, including malice murder, two counts of felony murder, six counts related to a Georgia gang statute, two counts for discharge of a firearm during a felony, four firearm possession counts, three aggravated assaults counts, two terroristic threats counts, and battery, among other charges.
According to evidence presented in Court, the U.S. Marshals observed Rogers carrying a large black bag to a vehicle in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express in Columbia. When agents approached to arrest him, they observed an American Tactical, Omni Hybrid, Multi-Caliber Pistol sitting in the trunk in plain view on top of the bag with a stock attached. The firearm also had a spent shell casing catcher attached so that spent casings would not be left behind when the firearm was shot. Agents also found a bucket, rubber gloves, and bleach inside Rogers’ hotel room. Inside the car was distribution quantity marijuana and a magazine loaded with 31 rounds of .223 ammunition.
The FBI recovered a video broadcast by Rogers on social media the day before pointing that firearm at the camera lens numerous times, and the FBI determined that Rogers left his DNA and his fingerprints on the firearm. The FBI also recovered a recorded jail call where Rogers said to the other caller that the gun was “brand new, it wasn’t ever used in nothing, the gun was brand new.”
At sentencing, evidence was presented that Rogers was the member of a street gang. The Court found that Rogers used the firearm in connection with drug distribution, and social media content recovered by federal search warrant showed dozens of additional firearms possessions.
State charges remain pending against Rogers in Georgia for shooting incidents and firearm brandishes in Columbus, Georgia on Aug. 6, 2020 (a murder and attempted murder incident that is being prosecuted by the Gang Prosecution Unit at the Georgia Attorney General’s Office); Aug. 8, 2020, Dec. 30, 2020; and Jan. 22, 2021. Rogers is presumed innocent on all charges that have not been adjudicated. State courts in Georgia granted Rogers a bond on pending charges; he was ordered detained in the federal system in South Carolina.
United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Rogers to 71 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of Court-ordered supervision – both at the top end of the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. There is no parole in the federal system.
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 FBI in South Carolina and Georgia, and the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force, with critical assistance from the Columbia (S.C.) Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels prosecuted the case.
Media: attached is an exhibit from Court showing the recovered firearm and other items as well as two screengrabs from Rogers’ social media broadcast.
Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist, email@example.com, (803) 929-3000
Updated November 27, 2023
Project Safe Neighborhoods