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Camden man pleads to federal firearm, drug charges

Posted: January 29, 2018 5:09 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2018 1:00 a.m.

A Camden man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, according to a press release issued by South Carolina U.S. Attorney Beth Drake.

Senior U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie accepted 22-year-old Swan Nicoyis Jackson’s guilty plea and will impose sentence after reviewing a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented in court established that on the morning of June 2, 2017, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies encountered Jackson and another man walking down railroad tracks near a neighborhood that had recent thefts. When deputies asked Jackson and the other male to stop, they both ran. Deputies could smell marijuana emanating from their direction. During the chase, Jackson fell and deputies were able to catch up to him and found a 9mm handgun in his pants pocket, along with marijuana. Further investigation revealed that the firearm had been reported stolen from a residence.

When deputies arrested Jackson, the Camden Police Department (CPD) charged him with first-degree assault and battery due to a May 31 incident at the Circle K on East DeKalb Street in Camden. According to a CPD report at the time, a store employee said Jackson’s girlfriend came in to buy some cigarettes and said Jackson had just beaten her. Jackson then allegedly entered the store, yelled at the woman and reportedly approached the counter saying, “Who’s going to jail?” He then allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband, but his girlfriend reportedly stopped him, managing to calm him down long enough to leave the store heading north on Mill Street toward Haile Street. 

Upon his arrest, deputies charged Jackson with possession of less than one gram of ice crank or crack cocaine (third or subsequent offense); manufacture, possession with intent to distribute of Schedule I, II or III substance (third or subsequent offense); unlawful carrying of a pistol; and the unlawful sale, delivery or possession of a stolen pistol. All of these charges were later dismissed, along with the CPD’s first-degree assault and battery charge.

Jackson is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms based upon other state convictions for possession of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, two counts of distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine near a school, possession with intent to distribute marijuana (second offense), and possession of crack cocaine (third offense or more).

In August 2015, Jackson allegedly damaged a fire sprinkler at the Kershaw County Detention Center while being detained on charges of unlawfully carrying a pistol, possession of narcotics and a probation violation. He later pleaded guilty to the unlawful carrying of a pistol and the drug charge, and sentenced to a total of five years provided upon time served with the balance suspended.

Jackson’s adult criminal record goes back to 2013, with pleas on various drug charges and sentences under the Youthful Offenders Act. According to online Kershaw County court records, he spent no time in prison, with many sentences reduced to either probation or time served at the detention center. The longest he appears to have spent in the county jail is 15 months.

He now could face up to life in prison due to his prior convictions.

According to Drake’s press release, on the federal firearm charge, Jackson faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release on the felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition charge. However, if he is deemed an armed career criminal in light of his extensive prior convictions for serious drug offenses, he would face a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years with a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000, and five years of supervised release on the firearm charge. Jackson faces a maximum of 10 years, a fine of $4 million and four years of supervised release on the marijuana charge.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.

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