Myrtle Beach Man Goes to Trial on Federal Drug and Weapons Charges - Pleads Guilty at Close of Government's Case
Florence, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Frederick Julien Augustine, a/k/a “Cowboy,” age 42, of Mullins, South Carolina, entered a mid-trial guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, and quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. In addition, he pled guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Augustine had previously been convicted of Assault and Battery with Intent to Kill, Distribution of Crack Cocaine, Burglary (2nd Degree), and Possession of a Weapon during a Crime of Violence. Augustine’s plea subjects him to a statutory mandatory sentence of 180 months of incarceration.
The Government’s evidence showed that on October 26, 2017, officers of the Myrtle Beach Police Department Street Crimes Unit, assisted by a Task Force Officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), executed a search warrant on a Myrtle Beach apartment after observing Augustine leave alone. Inside the apartment, officers located approximately 641 grams of cocaine, 49 grams of crack cocaine, 59 grams of heroin, and 27 grams of methamphetamine, all hidden with arm’s reach of a loaded .357 Magnum revolver and additional ammunition. Officers additionally seized more than $11,000 in suspected drug proceeds hidden in a safe with more than ½ kilogram of cocaine, and downloaded several surveillance cameras that had been set up at the apartment. ATF’s analysis of the cameras confirmed that Augustine was at the apartment for weeks leading up to the execution of the warrant, and that he was the last person the leave before the search was conducted. Augustine was arrested on a traffic stop while the search warrant was being executed. He was in possession of $3,000 in additional suspected drug proceeds. Augustine pled guilty after the Government presented its evidence to the jury.
Assistant United States Attorney Everett McMillan of the Florence office handled the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Myrtle Beach Police Department and prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Operation “Real Time,” which seeks to fast track armed recidivists for federal prosecution. Operation “Real Time” is a part of the Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation 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.
Augustine has been in continuous custody since his arrest on October 26, 2017, and he will remain in custody until he serves out his federal sentence.