A Columbia, South Carolina man will spend more than 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to marijuana and weapons charges, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy.
United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs sentenced Trent Jerrod Daniels, 33, to 130 months in federal prison, followed by four years of court-ordered supervision. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
There is no parole in the federal system.
Daniels led Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputies on a high-speed chase after they observed him involved in alleged drug deals on Abbott Road on May 8, 2018, according to the news release.
During the police chase, officers saw Daniels throw out a bag of the car window, the release said. The chase came to an end on Shop Road and South Beltline Boulevard in Columbia.
“Deputies recovered the bag and found inside a loaded Hi-Point .380 caliber handgun, marijuana, and digital scales,” the news release said. “A small quantity of crack cocaine was found in the vehicle, and counterfeit money was found in Daniels’ pocket.”
The indictment obtained by FITSNews (below) did not indicate how much pot or crack Daniels had on him when he was stopped.Daniels-Indictment-1
He admitted to dealing weed and crack earlier that day on Abbott Road and told police that he was the one that threw the bag with the gun and marijuana inside, according to the news release.
Daniels was on parole at the time for other convictions from a 2012 convenience store robbery in Lexington County, South Carolina. He was convicted of second-degree burglary, grand larceny and strong-arm robbery. Because he was a convicted felon, it’s illegal for him to possess a gun and ammo.
A ballistics analysis revealed that the gun was linked to a December 2017 burglary in Richland County, the news release said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods.
The story is very similar to another story our founding editor Will Folks reported on back in October — when 49-year-old Harold James Jones Jr. of Lexington County, South Carolina was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing less than ounces of pot.
Daniels, like Jones, faced an additional weapons charge, according to the indictment. It appears Daniels’ sentence was the result of a plea deal. Prior convictions were also a factor.
As Folks also reported earlier today — South Carolina is behind the times when it comes to marijuana laws.
South Carolina is among just a handful of states that have not approved recreational or medical laws — despite overwhelming public support.
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