Columbia Man with Robbery and Drug Trafficking Record Pleads Guilty to Firearm Charge

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA —Taurus Jermaine Dotson, 38, of Columbia, has pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that on December 7, 2020, Dotson was stopped for a traffic violation while driving in Richland County. During the stop, police obtained consent from Dotson to search the car he was driving. The search uncovered drugs and a 9mm pistol in the trunk. The pistol was loaded with an extended ammunition magazine which contained 17 rounds of ammunition. Dotson was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to prior robbery and drug trafficking convictions.

Dotson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and three years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment.  United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Dotson after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

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.

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This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Taylor is prosecuting the case.

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