Columbia Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Shaheem Shaquille Williams, 50, of Columbia, was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm after being convicted of a prior felony.

Evidence presented to the Court showed that on August 16, 2021, a Richland County deputy stopped Williams after determining the tag on the vehicle did not belong on the car he was driving.  After the deputy realized Williams did not possess a driver’s license, Williams ran from the traffic stop.  The deputy chased Williams and saw him throw down an object that was later determined to be a firearm.  After having to wrestle with Williams and tase him, another officer arrived and the two deputies were able to take Williams into custody.  After arresting Williams, the deputy retraced the path of the pursuit and found the firearm laying in the yard of a nearby home.

Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Williams to 43 months imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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.

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 William K. Witherspoon prosecuted the case.