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Press Release

Lancaster County Man Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm and Marijuana

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

Contact Person: William Witherspoon (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Martiquos Javon McIlwain, age 23, of Lancaster County, South Carolina was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia sentenced McIlwain to sixty-four (64) months incarceration followed by five (5) years of supervised release and a special assessment of $200.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department received a call for an ongoing burglary.  The caller gave the police a description of the burglars.  The caller also gave the description of the vehicle they were driving as a white pickup truck with a dealer’s tag.  As officers arrived, the owner of the car dealership arrived on the scene and gave the officers the name of the person whom he had allowed to test drive that vehicle earlier that morning.  He told the officers that the person had not returned the vehicle nor returned telephone calls. 

As the officers searched the area for the vehicle, they saw a black Lexus driven by McIlwain’s co-defendant Reco Cauthen and 3 other persons in the car.  Officers were familiar with these individuals and knew they had been mentioned as receivers of stolen items.  When the officers began to follow the car, the rear driver’s side door opened and McIlwain jumped out of the car with a book bag and began to run.  The officers gave chase on foot.  They later caught McIlwain and smelled marijuana coming from the book bag.  They opened the book bag and found 88 grams of marijuana in three individually wrapped packages, a mason jar containing approximately 11 grams of marijuana, 3 digital scales, a cellphone and a Taurus Model PT24/7 Pro, 9mm pistol.  The firearm had been reported stolen.  McIlwain also had 2 grams of marijuana in his pocket.  McIlwain was arrested. 

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.


Updated May 3, 2016