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Press Release

Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Drug Charges

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

Anderson, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Gabriel Espitia Escandon, age 43, of Mexico City, Mexico, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Anderson to Being an Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), and Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. § 841.  United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain of Anderson accepted the guilty plea and will impose the sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on August 28, 2016, a Simpsonville Police Department officer pulled over a white F-150 driven by Gabriel Escandon for speeding. When asked for his license and registration, Escandon stated he was not a legal citizen and did not have a license.  The officer arrested Escandon and searched the vehicle, finding a KelTec P32 in the driver side door pocket. The gun was loaded with three hollow point rounds. Escandon previously applied for and was denied entry into the United States.  Escandon is a citizen of Mexico and is illegally present in the United States, therefore it is a crime for him to possess a firearm.

On October 6, 2016, an officer of the Greer Police Department pulled over the same white F-150.  Escandon was again driving without a license, and the officer observed what appeared to be drugs on the floorboard. The officer deployed a K-9 unit, which alerted to the presence of narcotics.  The officer searched the vehicle and found 26.45 grams of methamphetamine in a sock in a cup in the center console. 

Ms. Drake stated that the maximum penalty Escandon could receive is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 dollars.   The case was investigated by agents of ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, Simpsonville Police Department, and Greer Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Lea Schoen of the Greenville office prosecuted the case.



Jamie Lea Schoen (864) 282-2100

Updated November 7, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses