Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Joshua Aaron Spencer, 34, of Columbia, was sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee.
Evidence presented to the court showed that during the early morning hours of August 18, 2018, Spencer broke into Decker Jewelry and Pawn on Decker Boulevard in Columbia and stole 16 firearms. Evidence recovered at the scene, including DNA evidence, implicated Spencer in the crime. Three of the stolen firearms have since been recovered, one in Washington, D.C., and the other two in Richland County.
Under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, Spencer faced a guidelines range of 46 to 57 months imprisonment. United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs sentenced Spencer to 48 months in federal prison to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision, and $9,600 in restitution.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland 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. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the prosecution.
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.