On behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office – District of South Carolina:
Columbia, South Carolina —- Acting United States Attorney A. Lance Crick announced that McKinley Earl Morant, age 35, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release after pleading guilty in September 2019 to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Senior United States District Judge Cameron M. Currie imposed the sentence.
Evidence presented in court established that during the evening of April 17, 2018, Columbia Police Department (CPD) officers were investigating a shooting incident near Elmwood Avenue and Two Notch Road and received a description of a car possibly involved in the incident. A CPD officer saw a car matching the description and followed it to a nearby gas station parking lot. Morant parked the vehicle, got out and walked inside the gas station. Morant was initially arrested inside the gas station for failing to follow police commands. Officers saw a .45 caliber pistol lying on the driver’s side floorboard of the car that Morant was driving. Officers then searched the car and found several methamphetamine pills, a quantity of marijuana, a digital scale and a box of .45 caliber ammunition in addition to the pistol.
Morant was convicted of five counts of armed robbery in 2002 as well as unlawful possession of a controlled substance in 2016 and is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Morant was also on bond for a stalking charge from Laurens, South Carolina at the time of this offense.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Columbia Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher D. Taylor prosecuted the case.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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.