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Press Release

"Operation Real Time": Marietta Man Enters Guilty Plea in Federal Court on Gun Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina
Capps was on state probation when arrested on federal gun charges

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Michael Wayne Capps, age 45, of Greenville, pled guilty today in federal court in Greenville, to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).  United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, of Charleston, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing this morning established that on January 10, 2017, agents with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services and the Greenville County Sheriff Office (GCSO) arrived at Capps’ residence in Marietta, South Carolina, to conduct a probation visit. Capps is currently on probation for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Upon entering the residence, agents observed several people as well as what appeared to be a rifle and drug paraphernalia in plain view prompting GCSO to obtain a search warrant for the residence.

A search of Capps’ bedroom revealed a loaded Sauer and Sohn .32 caliber pistol under the mattress.  Agents also located over 70 rounds of additional .32 caliber ammunition in the bedroom.  ATF agents responded and interviewed Capps.  Capps admitted to selling narcotics out of the residence and acknowledged ownership of the Sauer and Sohn .32 caliber pistol.

Capps faces up to ten years in federal prison for the offense and remains in federal custody. 

The case was investigated by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  First Assistant United States Attorney Lance Crick handled the case.

Capps was arrested federally as a part of “Operation Real Time.”  The goal of this program is to identify individuals for federal prosecution with significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Upstate community. 

In addition to the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, the GCSO, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Real Time’s core partners include the Greenville Police Department, the Anderson City Police Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office. 

Since August of 2015, the initiative has resulted in the expedited federal prosecution of some 97 defendants and seizure of approximately 130 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons.

U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the local, state, and federal agencies that led to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s Office adopting the case, “We work best when we work together.  This ‘real time’ identification of high risk offenders is smart policing, and we welcome the opportunity to work alongside our state chiefs and sheriffs in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”


Updated April 25, 2017

Firearms Offenses