For Immediate Release
“Real Time”: Greenville Man Found Guilty in Firearms Jury Trial Sentenced to Over 25 Years in Federal Prison
Nash was Wearing a Hillary Clinton Mask when he forced entry into Victim’s Home and Fired a Shot
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake announced today that Carlton Tyrone Nash, age 37, of Greenville, was sentenced to 310 months (25.8 years) in federal prison. In April of this year, a jury returned a guilty verdict, following a two-day jury trial in federal court in Anderson, finding Nash guilty of possession by a firearm and ammunition by a felon. United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Cain, who presided over the trial, sentenced Nash yesterday in Anderson.
The government presented multiple witnesses during the course of the trial. Witness testimony and the evidence presented by the government at trial established that in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Nash, while wearing a Hillary Clinton mask, forced entry into a residence and fired a shot from the .25 caliber pistol he obtained earlier that day. The shot barely missed one of the residents of the house. Nash then dragged that resident from the home at gunpoint into the street where a fight ensued. While Nash and his initial victim were fighting, the victim’s roommate exited the house with a baseball bat, striking Nash in the head with the bat. After a blow to the head from the bat, Nash removed his now bloodied mask revealing his identity to the victims. Nash dropped the gun during the scuffle in the street and left his mask behind as he fled the scene.
After receiving a 911 call from the initial victim, members of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) responded within minutes. A forensic technician from the Greenville County Forensic Division arrived shortly thereafter to process the scene and collect evidence. Experts from the Greenville County Forensics Division were able to match Nash’s DNA to the blood in the recovered mask. Based on their investigation, GCSO investigators were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Nash and arrested him just days after the offense. Working in concert with GCSO through the multi-agency initiative “Operation Real Time”, Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) served a federal arrest warrant on Nash shortly after his state arrest. Nash, after being advised of his Miranda rights, admitted to ATF agents that he had the mask and the gun. Nash has been detained since this incident and remains in custody.
The Nash case was expedited for federal prosecution pursuant to “Operation Real-Time.” The goal of this program is to identify individuals for federal prosecution with significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Upstate community. “Real Time” is a working collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as state and federal prosecutors. Since August of 2015, the initiative has resulted in the expedited federal prosecution of over 120 defendants and seizure of over 160 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons in the upstate.
“ATF is extremely appreciative of our partners and this collaborative effort to make our communities safer,” said Charlotte Field Division’s Special Agent in Charge C.J. Hyman. “ATF has committed our resources to help tackle illegal firearms possession and violent crime. That commitment, combined with the cooperation of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies, our federal partners, the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has resulted in a very successful effort with a long-term impact on violent crime in the upstate and beyond.”
U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between local, state, and federal agencies that led to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s Office adopting the case. “We work best when we work together. This ‘real time’ identification of high risk offenders is smart policing and we welcome the opportunity to work alongside our state chiefs, sheriffs, and solicitors in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”
The case was investigated by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenville County Forensic Division, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the ATF. Assistant United States Attorney William J. Watkins and First Assistant United States Attorney A. Lance Crick prosecuted the case.