Rock Hill Gang Member Man Pleads to Federal Firearm Charge
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that Kenterius Dyshae Hinton, age 24, of Rock Hill, plead guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the United States Probation Office.
Evidence presented in court established that on November 29, 2017, at approximately 11:21pm, officers with the Rock Hill Police Department were on patrol in an unmarked patrol car when they observed a car, using their high beam front headlights, coming towards them. A traffic stop was conducted and Hinton found to be the driver. Officers smelled marijuana as they approached the car and when they asked Hinton, a known gang member, and the passenger about it, they stated that they had smoked marijuana earlier and that the odor was on their clothes. A search of car revealed a loaded Taurus .45 caliber handgun underneath the center console, a loaded Smith and Wesson .45 caliber handgun underneath the passenger seat, and a marijuana grinder with marijuana residue. Both Hinton and the passenger were arrested on state charges of unlawful carrying of a firearm and advised of their rights. After waiving their rights, Hinton admitted that the “black gun was mine” [the Taurus .45 caliber] and the passenger admitted that the silver gun [the Smith and Wesson .45 caliber] was his gun.
Hinton, who was on state probation at the time of the instant offense, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon prior state convictions for burglary 2nd degree, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and attempted armed robbery. The passenger was not a convicted felon, so his firearm charge remained in state court.
Hinton faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release on the felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Rock Hill Police Department and was prosecuted as part of Project CeaseFire, a joint federal, state and local initiative focused upon aggressively prosecuting firearm cases in an effort to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a crime reduction strategy originally launched in 2001. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority and reinstituted PSN nationwide. Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey D. Haynes and Alyssa Richardson both of the Columbia office handled the case.