Operation “REAL-TIME”: Spartanburg Man Enters Guilty Plea in Federal Court on Gun Charges
Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2100
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Frederick Jermaine Porter, age 27, of Spartanburg, pled guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Anderson to a felon in possession of a firearm indictment. United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Porter, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Porter was arrested on federal firearms charges on September 19, 2016, and has remained in custody since his federal arrest.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on September 15, 2016, Spartanburg Police Department Investigators approached Porter as he walked down the street based on a tip that he would be in possession of a pistol inside a book bag. During the encounter, officers discovered a marijuana cigarette located on the ground by Porter and arrested him. Once arrested, officers searched the book bag and found a loaded .38 caliber revolver.
Porter 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 Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Real Time’s core partners include the Greenville Police Department; the Anderson Police Department; the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services; the South Carolina Highway Patrol; United States Probation; 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 90 defendants and seizure of approximately 110 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons.
Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis and his office are crucial partners in this effort. "The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is committed to removing illegal weapons from violent offenders and are very glad to be a part of this program and will offer any assistance we can."
U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the 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.”
The Spartanburg Police Department along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.