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Kershaw County man pleads guilty to federal gun charges

Posted: March 5, 2018 4:58 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Michael Andrew Gary

 

A Camden man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to a press release issued by South Carolina U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. accepted the plea from Michael Andrew Gary, 27, of Camden, and will impose sentence after reviewing a presentencing report from the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented in court established that on Jan. 17, 2017, Camden Police Department (CPD) officers stopped Gary for a traffic offense, and arrested him for driving under suspension. A search of the car Gary was driving revealed a .32 caliber Colt pistol. Gary admitted the firearm was his. At the time of his arrest, Gary had previous felony convictions that prohibited him from possessing a firearm.

Approximately six months later, on June 16, 2017, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies encountered Gary sitting in a car in a hotel parking lot. After officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana, they searched the car and found a Taurus 9mm firearm in the trunk of the car. Again, Gary acknowledged that the firearm belonged to him.

When deputies arrested him, the KCSO determined both he and another man in the car with him, were documented Bloods gang members.

Online court records also show that CPD officers arrested Gary in November 2012, when he was 18, for breaking into homes on Chestnut and Hampton streets in Camden. He pleaded guilty to those charges the following June.

Gary faces a maximum of 10 years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release on each count.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; CPD and KCSO investigated the current case, which was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative. The initiative aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant South Carolina U.S. Attorney Nancy C. Wicker of the Columbia office handled the case.

Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s continued application of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, the U.S. Attorney General’s office announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN.

 

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