Repeat Drug Offender Pleads Guilty to Gun Charges in Federal Court
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that Richard Stewart, age 42, of Lancaster, SC, pled guilty on in federal court in Columbia, to Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g). United States Senior District Judge Cameron Currie, of Columbia, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that on June 6, 2017, Lancaster Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Deputies executed a search warrant at Stewart’s mother’s residence in Lancaster, SC. During the search, deputies found multiple firearms including a Taurus Judge handgun. Stewart was arrested shortly after the search and admitted to owning the Taurus firearm.
Stewart is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearm based upon his prior felony convictions for possession of crack cocaine and manufacturing crack cocaine.
Stewart faces a maximum possible penalty of ten (10) years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three (3) years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Will Lewis of the Columbia office handled the case. Project CeaseFire is part 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.