Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Demarcus Deon Booker, 34, of Lexington, was sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Evidence presented in court established that on June 12, 2018, officers with the West Columbia Police Department responded to shots fired at a gas station in West Columbia. A 911 caller observed a person matching Booker’s description with a handgun tucked in his pants walking away from a silver vehicle. Officers located an unoccupied silver Chevrolet Cruz with bullet holes parked next to a building in close proximity to the gas station.
Officers searched the area and made contact with two individuals, one of whom was Booker, who were walking away from the gas station. Booker ultimately fled into the woods, where law enforcement officers located him after a short pursuit. Officers were able to determine that Booker and occupants of another vehicle exchanged gunfire, and Booker shot out of the passenger window of the silver Chevrolet Cruz. Booker had at least one firearm as he fled the scene, which officers were able to recover.
The evidence presented to the court showed that federal law prohibited Booker from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon multiple prior convictions, including a 2006 assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a 2012 possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and a 2012 possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis sentenced Booker to 72 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), West Columbia Police Department, and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. 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. Special Assistant United States Attorney Casey Rankin Smith of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.