For Immediate Release
Orangeburg Man With History of Violence Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison on Firearm Charge
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Keycon Deonte Keitt, age 32, of Orangeburg, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Following the term of imprisonment, Keitt will remain on federal supervised release for an additional three years. There is no parole in the federal system.
Evidence presented in court established that on March 5, 2018, officers with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety were conducting a property check at the Econolodge on John C. Calhoun Drive when they noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside a vehicle. The driver gave consent to search the vehicle and Keitt was seen reaching around the back seat. When officers ordered him to stop reaching and to exit the vehicle, a Taurus 9mm pistol was recovered from the area where Keitt was sitting, and Keitt admitted to ownership of the loaded 9mm pistol. An additional loaded magazine was recovered from inside Keitt’s right pant leg.
Keitt entered a guilty plea and did not contest an enhanced sentence based on his multiple prior felony convictions and because the firearm was used in connection with another felony conviction, possession of methamphetamine.
In handing down the maximum sentence provided by the statute, United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs, of Columbia, considered evidence from a pre-sentence report prepared by the United States Probation Office and an affidavit of ATF Special Agent Richard Brown that indicated Keitt had a history of firearm-related violence and threats. According to the report and affidavit, over a 14-year period Keitt was involved in nine incidents involving a shooting or a threatened shooting, including incidents in which four victims were shot and at least 10 victims were threatened with a shooting. The report and affidavit also indicated Keitt was involved in four shootings or threatened shootings in 2018 involving women and children.
The U.S. Probation Report also indicated Keitt had operated under multiple aliases, social security numbers, and birth dates.
Federal law prohibits Keitt from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon multiple prior state convictions: a 2004 burglary conviction; a 2005 possession of a stolen vehicle conviction; a 2006 conviction for threatening the life of a public official, where he threatened a local police officer with retaliation for an arrest; 2006 convictions for breaking into vehicles and possession of a stolen vehicle; a 2007 assault conviction related to a shooting in Orangeburg; two 2008 convictions for pointing and presenting a firearm; and 2008 convictions for criminal domestic violence, assault and battery, and malicious injury to private property for an incident where he struck and then threatened to shoot two women before breaking a window out of one victim’s vehicle; a 2008 conviction for malicious injury to private property; and two 2011 convictions for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for an incident where he shot two victims and was sentenced to seven years in state prison. Keitt was released from state prison in August 2018 and arrested for firearm-related violence and threats in the Spring of 2019.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s implementation of 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 Elliott B. Daniels of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.