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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 18, 2016

“Real Time”: Two Men Sentenced in Federal Court on Gun Charges, Six Others Enter Guilty Pleas Over Two Days of Hearings in Federal Court

COLUMBIA, South Carolina ---- Acting United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that multiple individuals entered guilty pleas this week on federal gun charges while others were sentenced for firearms violations. Guilty pleas and sentencing hearings are bifurcated in the federal system and United States District Court Judge Bruce H. Hendricks presided over all of the hearings this week. 

 

These cases represent a small snapshot of “Real Time,” an ongoing local, state, and federal initiative that expedites the identification, arrest, detention, and federal prosecution of repeat offenders arrested with firearms.  The goal of this program is to identify individuals for federal prosecution with significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Greenville community.

 

In addition to Greenville Police Department (GPD), the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Real Time’s core partners include the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, 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.

 

Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller and his department were one of the first partners on board for this initiative.  Chief Miller stated that “This multi-agency partnership endeavors to keep our communities safe and reduce firearms violence through ‘real time’ identification of dangerous individuals who seek to disrupt our streets and communities with firearms-driven violence.”

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the state and federal agencies that led to the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting the cases federally, “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.”

 

Since its launch in August of 2015, the initiative has resulted in the expedited federal prosecution of some 78 defendants and seizure of over 110 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons.

 

Sentencing Hearings: November 15, 2016

 
United States of America v. Julian Rashad Sawyer:  Julian Rashad Sawyer, age 28, of Greenville, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release, after previously entering a guilty plea in July to felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).  After Sawyer’s initial arrest on state firearms charges, ATF adopted the case for federal prosecution.  Sawyer was then arrested on a federal warrant for this conduct, was detained without a bond, and will remain in federal custody until he is designated and transported to the Bureau of Prisons.

 

Evidence presented by the government during both the guilty plea hearing and the sentencing hearing established that on April 25, 2016, officers with the Mauldin Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which Sawyer was a passenger.  Sawyer was found to be in possession of a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol with a loaded 9mm magazine nearby.

 

The case was investigated by the Mauldin Police Department and the ATF, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville office.

 

United States v. James Robert Hutson:  James Robert Hutson, age 26, of Simpsonville, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release, after previously entering a guilty plea in July to felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).  After Hutson’s initial arrest on state firearms charges, ATF adopted the case for federal prosecution.  Hutson was then arrested on federal warrants for this conduct, was detained without a bond, and will remain in federal custody until he is designated and transported to the Bureau of Prisons.

 

Evidence presented by the government during both the guilty plea hearing and the sentencing hearing established that on November 27, 2015, officers with the GPD conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Hutson. When Hutson exited the car, an officer observed his pocket swing as if there was something heavy in it. The officer then conducted a pat-down of Hutson’s outer clothing and recognized what he immediately knew to be loose rounds of ammunition in one of Hutson’s pockets and secured the rounds.

 

A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a loaded Lorcin .25 caliber pistol, located between the driver’s seat and the center console. Hutson was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release.  Investigated by the GPD and ATF, the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville office.

 

Guilty Pleas: November 16, 2016

 
United States v. Ashley Ann Chapman: Ashley Ann Chapman, age 32, of Piedmont, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea to one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).  The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea hearing that on August 26, 2016, Chapman was stopped in Pickens County for a traffic violation. During the stop, while checking her license, Chapman, who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition based on her prior criminal history, informed officers that she was in possession of a pistol.  Officers then located a loaded North American Arms .22 caliber pistol in her clothing.

 

Chapman remains in custody awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by the United States Probation Office. The maximum penalty for this offense is ten-years imprisonment, followed a three-year term of supervised release, and/or a fine of $250,000.

 

The South Carolina Highway Patrol along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. It is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville office.

 

United States v. Treasure Anderson:  Treasure Anderson, age 28, of Anderson, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea to one count Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).  The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea hearing that on March 8, 2016, Gaffney Police Department attempted to pull over a black mustang.  The vehicle fled from law enforcement, and a car chase ensued.  The black mustang eventually wrecked, and the occupants of the vehicle were arrested.

 

Law enforcement searched the mustang and recovered a loaded Jimenez Arms, Inc., model J.A. 22, .22 caliber pistol from the passenger seat where Anderson had been sitting.  They also recovered a quantity of methamphetamine.  When Anderson observed the officers taking the gun and drugs out of the car, she yelled that the items belonged to her.  Anderson has previously been convicted of a felony and is not permitted to carry firearms.

 

Anderson remains in custody, awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by United States Probation. The maximum penalty for this offense is ten-years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.  The case was investigated by the Gaffney Police Department and ATF and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Schoen in the Greenville office.


United States v. Nakeo Vance: Nakeo Vance, age 41, of Greenville, South Carolina, entered a guilty plea to one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Domestic Violence Offender, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1) and (g)(9), and two counts Possession of Counterfeit Currency, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 472.

 

The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea that on May 16, 2015, GCSO conducted a traffic stop on a car in which Vance was a passenger.  Vance was wanted on outstanding warrants, and law enforcement eventually searched the car.  Officers located a wallet in the vehicle with Vance’s ID and 98 counterfeit federal reserve notes.  Vance admitted that he had received the counterfeit from a drug deal, and had already used approximately $600.00 in counterfeit to pay off drug debts.

 

A year later, Vance was again arrested, but this time, by GPD.  On May 13, 2016, GPD received a call from a hotel regarding possible drug activity and additional concerning information.  Officers arrived and observed Vance standing outside of a Chrysler, acting suspiciously.  Once Vance observed law enforcement, Vance shoved an item into a backpack he was holding and threw the backpack into the car.  Officers patted down Vance due to safety concerns and found that he was carrying a loaded Butler Associate, .22 caliber handgun.  Vance then ran from the police.

 

Officers eventually apprehended Vance and found that he was carrying more counterfeit bills.  Law enforcement searched the Chrysler and found a loaded General Precision Corporation .22 caliber revolver in the backpack Vance had been holding.  Vance has previous felony convictions and a conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence.

 

Vance remains in custody, awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by United States Probation. The maximum penalty for this offense is ten-years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for the counterfeit charges is twenty-years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Secret Service, GPD, GCSO, and ATF and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Schoen in the Greenville office.

 

United States v. Norman Jefferson: Norman Jefferson, age 51, of Greenville, South Carolina, pled guilty to one count Carrying a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) and one count Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

 

The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea that in January and February of 2016, Jefferson sold crack cocaine on multiple occasions from his residence.  In March of 2016, GPD conducted a search of the residence, and upon entering, found Jefferson near crack cocaine and cocaine powder.  Jefferson was also carrying a loaded Ruger .380 caliber pistol at the time.  Drug distribution materials were located throughout the house.  Jefferson stated that he had the gun for protection because people who come to his house to get high are unpredictable.

 

Jefferson remains in custody, awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by United States Probation. This offense calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five-years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, as well a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of five-years.

 

The case was investigated by the Gaffney Police Department and ATF and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Schoen in the Greenville office.

 

United States of America v. Jomokayatta Walter Dennis Cook:  Jomokayatta Walter Dennis Cook, age 36, of Greenville, South Carolina, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea that on September 16, 2016, Cook, a security staff employee at a Greenville restaurant, possessed a loaded Sturm 9mm pistol during a verbal altercation with a fellow employee while in an employee break area at the restaurant.  Cook’s possession of the pistol was captured on surveillance video at the location. Cook has previous felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms or ammunitions.

 

Cook was arrested on federal warrants that same evening and has been detained with no bond since his arrest.  Cook remains in custody on a $250,000 secured bond, awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by United States Probation. The maximum penalty for this offense is ten-years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.

 

The case was investigated by GPD and ATF and is assigned to Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Lance Crick in the Greenville office.

 

United States of America v. Xavier Javaris Dawkins:  Xavier Javaris Dawkins, age 27, of Greenville, South Carolina, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).The Government presented evidence at the guilty plea that on March 27, 2016, GCSO deputies responded to a Greenville nightclub in reference to a disturbance in the parking lot.  While en route to the incident location, deputies were advised that a suspect (identified upon arrival as Dawkins), was being detained by the club’s security staff.

 

Upon arrival, club security relayed to GCSO that security had removed four individuals from the night club due to their involvement in a fight. After the individuals were removed, security observed Dawkins walk to his vehicle and remove a handgun and chamber a round in the handgun. After security commanded that Dawkins drop the weapon, Dawkins complied and placed the handgun back into the vehicle. Dawkins was detained by club security until GCSO arrived.

 

The seized handgun was loaded with fourteen rounds of ammunition.  At the time of this offense, Dawkins was on active state probation following a previous conviction for unlawful carrying of a firearm.

 

Dawkins was arrested on federal warrants and has been detained with no bond since his arrest.  Dawkins remains in custody, awaiting a sentencing hearing which will be calendared after a presentence investigation report is prepared by United States Probation. The maximum penalty for this offense is ten-years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000. 

 

The case was investigated by GPD and ATF and is assigned to Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Lance Crick in the Greenville office.

 

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Updated November 18, 2016