DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Carolina

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Bill Nettles
, United States Attorney
Contact: Stacey D. Haynes

Gang Member Pleads Guilty To Firearm And Ammunition Charge

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Javan Labrese Peele, age 22, of Rock Hill, South Carolina pled guilty as charged today in federal court.  Peele plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e).  United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on July 19, 2013, officers with the Rock Hill Police Department observed Peele, who they knew to have an outstanding state warrant, getting into the rear passenger side of a vehicle.  Officers approached the vehicle, saw Peele moving around nervously in the backseat, and requested that Peele exit the vehicle. Upon exiting the vehicle, Peele attempted to flee, but was subdued and placed under arrest.  A search of Peele revealed a loaded Lorcin .25 caliber pistol in his front pocket, along with small quantity of crack cocaine.  In the seat where Peele had been sitting, officers recovered a quantity of marijuana.    

The investigation revealed that Peele, a known gang member, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior 2013 state conviction for assault and battery 1st degree, which stemmed from an incident in which an individual was shot.  Approximately two months after his release from his service of that state sentence, Peele was found in possession of a loaded Lorcin firearm which led to this federal charge.     

Mr. Nettles stated that Peele faces a maximum of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years.

The case was investigated by the Rock Hill Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.  Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.


Charlotte Field Division