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South Carolina man may get life in prison for drug charges

A South Carolina man has been convicted in federal court for offenses related to cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking, and may get a sentence of up to life in prison. The man will receive a minimum of 15 years in prison.

The full string of drug charges brought against the defendant included conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute 280 or more grams of crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The prosecution said the defendant had discussed shooting another alleged drug dealer and went out looking for the individual with a gun. No attack ever took place, but by possessing a gun under such circumstances, the man may face a sentence of up to ten years. Possessing a gun can have even more serious long-term consequences if the defendant does so in violation of probation.

When originally arrested, prosecutors said the defendant consumed a large amount of drugs while running from the police. He spent two weeks after his apprehension recuperating in the hospital.

The arrest, which took place in 2007, was the result of a joint effort between five different law enforcement groups. These groups included the Columbia Violent Gang Task Force, the FBI, the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the Columbia Police Department, and the State Law Enforcement Division.

As this case makes clear, drug and drug-related offenses are taken very seriously by courts. Anyone accused of a drug crime is entitled to a criminal defense attorney who will help them decide how best to proceed with their case.

Source: The State, "Columbia drug dealer headed to prison on cocaine, crack charges," Noelle Phillips, Nov. 29, 2012

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