Lexington Man Pleads to Federal Firearm Charge
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that Brandon Shane Kolesar, age 39, of Lexington, plead guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e). Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the United States Probation Office.
Evidence presented in court established that on the evening of March 29, 2018, deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about someone breaking into cars. Upon arriving at the scene, witnesses said they observed a man, later identified as Kolesar, attempting to get into a vehicle. When confronted by the men, Kolesar threatened them with a handgun. Deputies searched the area and found Kolesar on a porch of a residence. As deputies approached, Kolesar ran and a .380 caliber handgun fell from his waistband. Deputies recovered the firearm and later apprehended Kolesar through the use of a K-9. A search incident to arrest also revealed approximately 25 grams of marijuana on Kolesar’s person. Kolesar was arrested on state charges and thereafter, a federal arrest warrant and complaint was issued.
Kolesar is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior state convictions. Kolesar has prior state convictions for burglary 2nd degree and ill treatment of animals, where he shot and killed a homeowner’s dog during a burglary (2006), pointing and presenting a firearm (2014), and assault and battery 2nd degree (2014). At the time of the current offense, Kolesar was on state probation, stemming from a September 2017 state conviction for unlawful carrying of a firearm.
Kolesar faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and was prosecuted as part of Project CeaseFire, a joint federal, state and local initiative focused upon aggressively prosecuting firearm cases in an effort to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a crime reduction strategy originally launched in 2001. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority and reinstituted PSN nationwide. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.