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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Greenville Man Pleads Guilty to Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition

Contact Person: Max Cauthen, II (864) 282-2100

Greenville, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Joshua Matthew Garrett, age 26, of Greenville, South Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Greenville, South Carolina, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g). United States District Court Judge Bruce H. Hendricks of Charleston, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Garrett faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Evidence presented by the government during the plea established that on November 15, 2016, members of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) made contact with Garrett in his vehicle. 

As Garrett was approached by GCSO, Garrett opened the driver’s side door of the vehicle and an officer observed a handgun in the pocket of the driver’s door. GCSO seized the handgun which was identified as a loaded Harrington & Richardson .22 caliber revolver. 

Prior to that date, Garrett had previously been convicted of a crime for which he could have received more than a year in prison and agents confirmed that he had not received a pardon nor had his rights restored to possess firearms or ammunition. 

Garrett was arrested federally as a part of “Operation Real-Time.”  The goal of this program is to identify individuals for federal prosecution with significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Upstate community. 

In addition to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Real Time’s core partners include the Greenville Police Department, the Anderson Police Department; the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services; the South Carolina Highway Patrol; United States Probation; the Department of Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office; and the United States Attorney’s Office. 

Since August of 2015, the initiative has resulted in the expedited federal prosecution of some 90 defendants and seizure of approximately 110 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons.

U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the state and federal agencies that led to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s Office adopting the case, “We work best when we work together.  This ‘real time’ identification of high risk offenders is smart policing, and we welcome the opportunity to work alongside our state chiefs and sheriffs in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case.  The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated March 23, 2017