☷Columbia Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Firearm
Federal Bureau of Investigation ( By Press Release office)
| 21| 1
Columbia Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Firearm COLUMBIA , SOUTH CAROLINA —Tavius Cortez Wiggins , a/k/a “Black , ” 30 , of Columbia was sentenced to nine years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition . Evidence presented in court showed that on July 30 , 2019 , an officer with the South Carolina Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for speeding on Interstate 95 in Florence County . Upon contact , the trooper noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from within the vehicle and determined the driver did not have a valid driver’s license . Wiggins was a passenger . The trooper separated the three occupants of the vehicle , and responses to the trooper’s questions led the officer to believe there was evidence of criminal conduct in the vehicle . A search of the vehicle produced cocaine , heroin , marijuana , and three firearms , one of which was stolen , plus ammunition and extended ammunition magazines . The firearms included a loaded . 40 caliber handgun with an extended magazine , a loaded 9mm handgun , and a . 22LR caliber firearm with a 125 - round drum magazine attached . FBI received information that Wiggins was facilitating the commercial sexual exploitation of a female passenger in the vehicle , that he supplied her with drugs , and that prior to the traffic stop he pointed a firearm at her head multiple times . The government presented other evidence at sentencing that Wiggins was involved in human trafficking: witnesses disclosed to the FBI that Wiggins prostituted women at hotels in the Columbia area , and that he did so by using physical violence , pointing firearms , and by withholding drugs causing “dope sickness . ” At sentencing , Wiggins contested that evidence but conceded that the Government had enough evidence to support a sentencing enhancement based on that conduct . Wiggins was prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based on numerous prior felony convictions , including trafficking crack cocaine , possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine , two burglary convictions related to home invasions , escape from custody , identity fraud , and resisting arrest . Wiggins’s convictions began in 2008 and they also include multiple drug possession convictions . United States District Court Judge J . Michelle Childs sentenced Wiggins to 9 years in prison on a charge that carried a maximum of 10 years in prison , to be followed by a three - year term of court - ordered supervision . There is no parole in the federal system . This case 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 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 . The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the South Carolina Highway Patrol , the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department , and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department . Assistant United States Attorney Elliott B . Daniels prosecuted the case . ###
PLAY the NEWS
* May be useful for visually impaired persons .
Press release information:
Direct link to press release
: Click here .