Federal Indictment Returned for Columbia Man For Possessing a Firearm and Marijuana

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal grand jury in Columbia returned a two-count indictment against Nicholas Vanover, 25, of Columbia, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and simple possession of marijuana.

The indictment alleges that Vanover possessed a firearm after having previously been convicted of a prior felony and possessed a quantity of marijuana on January 30, 2020.

Vanover faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and is currently detained and has a detention hearing.

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the City of Columbia Police Department. 

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William K. Witherspoon is prosecuting the case. 

U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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