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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 19, 2021

Upstate Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Federal Prison for Gun and Drug Charges after Plotting to Kill a Cooperating Witness

Greenville, South Carolina---- Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart stated today that Lazarus Floyd, 44, of Taylors, has been sentenced to more than 22 years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to multiple drug trafficking and firearm-related offenses.

Evidence presented in court showed that, on January 29, 2019, while executing a search warrant at Floyd’s residence in Woodruff, law enforcement officers found 2,579 grams of methamphetamine, 1,197 grams of heroin, 1,600 grams of marijuana, and $15,255 in cash.  Additionally, officers discovered numerous items of drug trafficking paraphernalia including a pill press, digital scales, cutting agents, and packaging material, as well as 12 pistols, seven rifles, and two shotguns.

Evidence presented in court also showed that Floyd attempted to hire a hitman to kill a witness and that witness’s attorney because the witness was thought to be cooperating with law enforcement.  That plot was uncovered; and, through the quick action of the FBI, DEA, United States Marshals Service, and their local law enforcement partners, no one was harmed.

“More often than not, drug trafficking, guns and violence are intertwined,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DeHart.  “This sentence highlights our office’s commitment to ensuring our community is protected from violent criminals and the powerful work of our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that not only thwarted a murder plot but also helped to ensure justice was served.”

"Today's sentence is a major step in making South Carolina safe," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Susan Ferensic.  "A major drug trafficker, who possessed a large number of firearms to support his enterprise, also threatened our criminal justice system itself by plotting to kill a witness and legal counsel.  To keep our communities safe, witnesses need to know they can report critical information to law enforcement and they will be protected.  This investigation and sentence demonstrates the FBI's commitment to that principle."  

United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain sentenced Floyd to 270 months imprisonment to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorneys Sloan P. Ellis and Brandi B. Hinton prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Michael Mule' (843) 327-0882
Updated July 19, 2021