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Camden man sent back to federal prison

Posted: September 7, 2017 4:47 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2017 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Richard Herman Roach III

A Camden man who pleaded guilty in late May to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition will spend an additional five years in prison, according to a press release from South Carolina U.S. Attorney Beth Drake.

Senior U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Richard Herman Roach III, 28, of Camden, to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. According to Drake, the sentence consists of 51 months imprisonment on the firearm charge and another 12 months imprisonment, to be served consecutively, on a revocation of a 2010 federal drug charge against Roach.

During the early morning hours of July 2, 2016, while on probation on armed robbery and burglary charges from 2008, Roach led Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies on a high speed chase starting on S.C. 34 east of Camden. A deputy observed Roach’s silver Chevy Malibu, with Georgia plates, being driven at a high rate of speed. The deputy activated his blue lights and siren only to have Roach speed up and flee at speeds of up to 100 mph. He turned onto Precipice Road and then lost control of and wrecked the rented Malibu while attempting to make a right turn onto Dove Road.

The pursuing deputy approached the vehicle and saw Roach reach under the front seat, feeling around for something. The deputy pulled Roach out of the vehicle by his belt only to have Roach strike him in the forehead with his elbow, leading them to struggle. A civilian on a “ride along” with the deputy assisted in getting Roach into handcuffs.

A search of the vehicle turned up a loaded .45 caliber pistol under the front seat. The deputy also found Roach in possession of a small bag of marijuana. While being transported, Roach managed to kick open the rear door of the patrol car and escape on foot, but was recaptured by a K9 unit a short time later.

Deputies charged Roach at the time with failing to stop for blue lights, resisting arrest with assault, possession of marijuana, unlawful carrying of a pistol and carrying of a pistol by a person convicted of a violent crime.

Roach’s 2008 robbery and burglary charges stemmed from his being listed among several suspects in a fatal 2008 home invasion on Red Maple Road near the town of Kershaw. In July 2016, online court records showed charges of murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary against Roach were “judicially dismissed.” However, those records showed a separate set of first-degree and armed robbery charges for an incident that took place five days before the home invasion.

Records showed Roach had been out on $100,000 bond since February 2015.

According to Drake, Roach is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior federal conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 5 grams or more of crack cocaine and a prior state conviction for forgery. At the time of the July 2016, incident, Roach was on federal supervised release after previously serving 60 months on the drug charge. Roach was released from federal prison in February 2015 and in November 2015, his federal supervised release was revoked and he was sent back to federal prison. He was released again from federal prison in May 2016, two months prior to this incident.

The case was investigated by the KCSO and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.

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