Rock Hill Man Sentenced to 150 Months on Federal Firearm and Drug Charges
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that Zadgery Collins McNeil, age 32, of Rock Hill, was sentenced in federal court to a total of 150 months imprisonment, to be followed by 4 years of supervised release. McNeil plead guilty earlier this year to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(D), and 851. Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten of Columbia imposed the sentence, which consisted of 100 months imprisonment on the firearm charge and a consecutive 50 months imprisonment on the marijuana charge.
Evidence presented in court established that at approximately 1:25 pm on December 6, 2016, Rock Hill Police Department received numerous 911 calls regarding a shooting on Jones Avenue, at McNeil’s residence. Investigation revealed that individuals were shooting at McNeil, when he went around the corner of the house and came back with a handgun. Thereafter, the other individuals fled from the scene in an SUV and McNeil fled in his car. An officer responding to the shooting encountered McNeil’s car at the intersection of South Stonewall Street and Arch Drive. The officer observed McNeil step out of his car, fire a handgun several times at an SUV that was approaching, and then speed away. Officers attempted a traffic stop and McNeil pulled into the driveway of a residence. McNeil bailed from his car, which then crashed into the porch of the house. A footchase ensued during which McNeil threw down the handgun. McNeil ran into a nearby home and the residents, who had children in the home, alerted law enforcement. McNeil was placed under arrest a short time later and officers recovered $550 and the discarded loaded Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun. A search of McNeil’s vehicle revealed approximately 348 grams of marijuana and a spent shell casing along with other items linked to McNeil.
McNeil is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior separate South Carolina state convictions for possession of crack cocaine (2006), assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (2007), possession with intent to distribute marijuana (2012), possession with intent to distribute marijuana near a park (2014), and distribution of marijuana 2nd offense (2014). At the time of the instant offense, McNeil was on state probation for a North Carolina conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon (2014).
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Rock Hill Police Department and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. 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. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.