RELEASE – Marion County Man Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Selling a Firearm to a Known Felon

Florence, South Carolina —- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Christopher Lee Scott, age 37, of Marion County, was sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to selling a firearm to a known convicted felon.

          Evidence presented in court established that on January 8, 2018, a long-time acquaintance of Scott’s, whom Scott knew to be a convicted felon, approached him about purchasing a firearm.  Later that same day, this individual drove to Scott’s residence in Marion County, where Scott showed him a .357 revolver and a 9mm pistol for sale.  Scott then agreed to sell the individual the 9mm pistol for $400.  After completing the transaction, Scott told the individual that he also had other guns to sell, including an assault rifle.

          Not only does federal law prohibit selling a firearm to a known convicted felon, but Scott’s own felon status prohibited him from possessing a firearm in the first place.  Prior to selling the firearm in January 2018, Scott had two convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, a conviction for distribution of crack cocaine, and two convictions or possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

          Chief United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell, of Florence, accepted Scott’s guilty plea and sentenced him to 72 months in federal prison followed by three years of court-ordered supervision.  Scott was immediately taken into custody following his sentencing hearing.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Taylor, Derek Shoemake, and Justin Holloway prosecuted the case.

          This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) alongside officers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Marion County Combined Drug Unit.  It 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 our communities 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.