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Press Release

South Carolina Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Dealing, Shooting Police Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: Nick Bianchi (843) 727-4381

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Tray Jabari Graves, age 29, of Garnett, South Carolina was sentenced today in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Senior United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour of Charleston sentenced Graves to twenty-eight years imprisonment, to be followed by ten years supervised release.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that law enforcement conducted multiple undercover crack and cocaine purchases from Graves and other co-conspirators.  On June 17, 2015, federal agents executed search warrants at Graves’ residence, as well as his mother’s residence which Graves used to conduct drug trafficking.  When the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team made entry into Graves’ residence, Graves shot Sgt. Mark Cobb of the SWAT team in the shoulder as officers opened Graves’ bedroom door.  After Graves was apprehended, agents recovered approximately 33 grams of crack cocaine, a kilogram of cocaine, three firearms, a drum magazine loaded with eighty-one rounds of ammunition, a money counter and over $6,500 from Graves’ bedroom.  Agents also recovered approximately 73 grams of crack cocaine, 214 grams of cocaine and 4 firearms from Graves’ mother’s residence.

Following Graves’ sentencing, United States Attorney Beth Drake stated, “Drug dealers armed with firearms put our community and our officers at risk as this case demonstrates.  Fortunately, Sgt. Cobb has recovered physically.  We extend our most sincere thanks to the officers who protect and serve, most particularly Sgt. Cobb and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team that made the arrest in this case.”  Jason Sandoval, Resident Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) Charleston Office added, “violence in our community is often perpetrated by the same organizations distributing drugs.  The Tray Graves case is a telling and unfortunate example of a young man who made a choice to be a violent criminal.  Most disturbing among his felonious actions, Mr. Graves’ conduct could have cost a dedicated and honorable law enforcement officer his life.  Rule of law and justice have prevailed, however.  As a consequence, Mr. Graves will spend most of the next three decades in federal prison for violence and poison sown by his hand in the community.”

The case was investigated by agents of the DEA and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.


Updated January 25, 2017

Drug Trafficking