Sumter Men Sentenced on Federal Firearm and Drug Charges
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Brandon Leroid Cummings, age 28, and Brandon Christopher Craft, age 31, both of Sumter, were both sentenced today in federal court in Columbia by Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten after pleading guilty earlier this year to various firearm and drug charges.
Cummings was sentenced to a total of 108 months imprisonment with 6 years of supervised release on charges of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and cocaine base (commonly known as “crack cocaine”) and conspiracy to use/carry/possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o).
Craft was sentenced to a total of 63 months imprisonment with 3 years of supervised release to follow on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to use/carry/possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(o).
Evidence presented in court during the guilty plea hearings established that May 17, 2017, Cummings distributed crack cocaine and four baggies of heroin to a confidential informant and undercover officer in exchange for $400. The transaction, which occurred in Sumter, was recorded on audio/video. Thereafter, on May 25, 2017, Cummings made arrangements to sell a firearm and heroin to the confidential informant in exchange for $800. When Cummings arrived to meet the confidential informant and the undercover officer, he was accompanied by Craft. Cummings provided the confidential informant what he said was heroin. Craft produced a Taurus .38 caliber revolver from a bag hidden in his waistband and gave it to the confidential informant. The investigation revealed that the firearm had been previously reported as stolen. Additionally, the heroin sold by Cummings on this occasion, while packaged like the previously sold heroin, was found to be cocaine during a laboratory analysis.
Cummings had prior state convictions for possession with distribution of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine (2 counts), and possession schedule I/schedule II controlled substance 2nd offense. Craft had prior state convictions for burglary 2nd degree (2 counts), possession of crack cocaine, possession of a firearm, assault and battery 2nd degree, and forgery (2 counts).
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) and the Sumter County Sheriff’s 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 Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.