ATF, Columbia Police and US Attorney Dismantle Columbia, SC Gun–Trafficking Ring
Columbia, South Carolina –-(Ammoland.com)- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Andre Moss, a/k/a “Dre” (22); Anthony Brevard, a/k/a “Amp” (20); Torrian Gleaton (22); Johnathan Bailey, a/k/a “Brandon” (21); Antonio Keller, a/k/a “Hollywood” (22); Allan Boyd (19); Travis Hayes, a/k/a “Trav” (21); and Dexter Clifford Savage, a/k/a “D–boi” (24) were sentenced to a combined 41 ½ years in prison as a result of an effort to focus on removing firearms and criminals from the Greenview Community in Columbia, SC.
Mr. Nettles went on to say: “We are pleased to have helped the citizens of Greenview as they fight to ensure their community remains safe and civil. As part of our ongoing Project CeaseFire initiative, we will continue to devote resources to removing firearms and criminals from the Greenview Community so that residents can safely raise their families and enjoy their neighborhood.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Columbia Police Department (CPD) combined to remove twenty firearms from the community, including two SKS 7.62mm Cugir Model 56 assault rifles; one Norinco 7.62mm assault rifle; three Taurus .45 caliber semi–automatic pistols; two Taurus .40 caliber semi–automatic pistols; a Ruger .40 caliber semi–automatic pistol; a Harrington & Richardson .32 caliber revolver; a Hi–point 9mm semi–automatic pistol; a Bersa .380 caliber semi–automatic pistol; a Ruger .44 magnum revolver; a Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver; a Taurus .38 caliber revolver; a Rossi .38 caliber revolver; Smith and Wesson .357 revolver; a Marlin Glenfield 12–gauge sawed–off shotgun; a Mossberg 12–gauge shotgun; a Mossberg 20–gauge shotgun; and an assortment of ammunition for use in a variety of firearms.
Moreover, nine individuals plead guilty to charges in federal court and were sentenced to up to ten years in prison in addition to three years of supervised release: Moss (120 months), Hopkins (92 months), Hayes (90 months), Brevard (46 months), Savage (33 months), Bailey (33 months), Keller (33 months), Gleaton (27 months), and Boyd (24 months).
The joint ATF and CPD operation utilized a confidential informant in March and April of 2010 to purchase firearms and ammunition from members of the group. Then in June of 2010, members of the group robbed the confidential informant at gunpoint when he arrived at an apartment complex for a pre–arranged purchase of five firearms – including an AK–47 Assault Rifle and an Uzi.
Columbia Police Department Chief Randy Scott stated: “This operation was a cure for a persistent illness that the Greenview community has been suffering with for quite some time. The suspects will not be returning to the Greenview/Northeast community to continue their criminal acts. Law abiding residents have been taking proactive measures with the Columbia Police Department to safeguard their backyards. Efforts like this crime suppression operation will continue.”
The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Columbia Police Department, and lead by Task Force Officer Brian Vanhouten. The prosecution was part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson of the Columbia office handled the case.