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Press Release

Suspended Bamberg County Councilman Arrested on Federal Criminal Complaint on False Statements Charge

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

Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. announced today that Kerry Trent Kinard, 49, of Bamberg, South Carolina, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint and charged with making material false statements in connection to the attempted acquisition of a firearm.

Kinard had his initial appearance on the federal charge before United States Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges, where the court scheduled a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing for Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 10:00am. At this time, Kinard remains in custody. 

According to the complaint, on November 5, 2020, a Bamberg County Grand Jury returned seven felony indictments against Kinard related to the sexual abuse of children over the course of numerous years, as alleged in those indictments. The complaint further alleges Kinard was on notice that he was under felony indictment as a result of the presiding South Carolina Court of General Sessions judge’s initial denial of bond citing the “unreasonable danger to the community” Kinard’s release would then represent, as a result of Kinard’s participation in numerous hearings on the state felony charges, and as a result of Governor Henry McMaster’s suspension of Kinard from service on the Bamberg County Council following the indictments.

As further alleged in the complaint, on October 27, 2020, after finding that Kinard represented a credible threat to the physical safety of a petitioner and that Kinard used or threatened to use physical force expected to cause bodily injury, a presiding South Carolina Family Court judge entered a protective order restraining Kinard from threatening or using physical force against the petitioner.  The complaint alleges Kinard was also on notice that he was subject to such an order as a result of his participation in the hearing on the protective order.

The complaint alleges that, while out on bond, under seven felony indictments, and subject to a protective order, Kinard entered a federally licensed firearms dealer and made two false statements material to the lawfulness of the sale in an attempt to acquire a firearm.  On December 3, 2020, Kinard attempted to acquire a Taurus, Model G3 9mm pistol from a firearm dealer in Columbia.  In the course of doing so, the complaint alleges Kinard made two false statements in violation of federal law: Kinard falsely claimed he was not under felony indictment and Kinard claimed he was not subject to a protective order.  The complaint alleges that both false statements were material in that if he had answered truthfully, the sale would have been unlawful and therefore denied.

The maximum penalty for this offense is ten years in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who brought the federal criminal complaint, with assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elliott B. Daniels of the Columbia Office.

United States Attorney McCoy stated that all charges in this case are merely allegations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



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Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982

Updated December 8, 2020

Public Corruption