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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 23, 2018

Lancaster County Man Sentenced in Federal Court on Firearms and Drug Charges

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Jimmy Hunter, age 48, of Lancaster County, South Carolina was sentenced in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, for felon in possession of a firearm.  Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, of Columbia, sentenced Hunter to 78 months incarceration followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on September 1, 2017, the Lancaster County Drug Task Force was following up on a drug overdose investigation that involved Hunter.  Officers went to Hunter’s residence located in Lancaster to speak to him concerning the overdose.  After knocking on the door several times, a guest of Hunter opened the door and walked onto the front porch.  As she opened the door, an investigator smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the residence.  The guest was interviewed about the overdose on the porch of the residence.  After investigators finished speaking to the guest, she was advised that officers had detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the residence.  She was asked if anyone else was at the residence, and she stated that it was Hunter’s residence and that he was still next door. Officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence.

When the officers entered the residence, several illegal items were immediately located out in the open on the master bedroom bed such as marijuana, scales, and crystal methamphetamine in a clear plastic bag and on a tray.  A thorough search also revealed crystal methamphetamine, syringes, and spoons throughout the residence.  These items were located in almost every room of the residence to include the living room desk, under the bar, the bathroom, the master bedroom dresser as well as on the master bedroom bed. The officers also located several firearms and ammunition in an open gun safe located in the master bedroom.  When officers searched the bedroom closet, they observed several cases of ammunition, a ballistic vest, holsters, and several ammunition cans of firearm magazines.

Officers recovered the following firearms: an Anderson model AM15, .223 caliber rifle, a Mossberg (Companhia Brasiliera)  model 702 Plinkster, .22 caliber rifle, a Romarm/Cugir model M-10, 7.62 caliber rifle, a Mossberg Maverick model 88, 12 gauge shotgun, a Springfield/Stevens 12 gauge shotgun, and a Gerstenberger U. Eberwein .32 caliber revolver.  At least 3300 rounds of ammunition were found in the gun safe and the master bedroom closet.

The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Lancaster County Sheriff's Department.  Assistant United States Attorney William K. Witherspoon of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

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 continued application of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Updated February 23, 2018