Wagener Man Indicted on 15 Counts of Firearm Possession and Narcotics Distribution

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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 15-count indictment charging Anthony Tyrone Whitfield, 44, of Wagener, for possessing firearms and ammunition as a prohibited felon, for distribution of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, and for possessing and using firearms in connection with his drug distribution activities.

The indictment alleges that on nine occasions between December 2018 and September 2021 Whitfield distributed, attempted to distribute, or was in possession with intent to distribute, methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, including at least 50 grams of methamphetamine on two occasions.  The indictment also alleges that he was in possession of six firearms and various rounds of ammunition on three different dates, and that he possessed or used firearms in connection with his drug trafficking activity also on three occasions.

The indictment also alleges that Whitfield is subject to an enhanced sentence by virtue of a conviction for a serious drug felony offense in South Carolina state court in 2017. 

Whitfield faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment on numerous charges, and a mandatory five years consecutive to any other term of imprisonment on charges related to the possession of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking. Whitfield is currently detained on state charges and his arraignment in federal court is scheduled for May 31, 2022, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett.

This case is being 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.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, and the Salley Police Department, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels 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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