Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

1441 Main Street, Suite 500
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 929-3000

For Immediate Release

June 17, 2010

William N. Nettles, United States Attorney

Contact: Beth Drake
(803) 929-3000

Gaffney Man Sentenced on Gun Charges

Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney William N. Nettles stated today that Eric Michael Shoemaker, age 48, of Gaffney, South Carolina, was sentenced June 16, 2010 in federal court in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922. United States District Judge Henry F. Floyd of Spartanburg sentenced Shoemaker to 24 months in federal prison.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies received complaints that Shoemaker was selling black powder rifles and ammunition over the internet and not shipping the items to his customers. Investigation disclosed that Shoemaker defrauded 30-40 people in this manner.

A search of Shoemaker’s home revealed that he possessed a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Mossberg .270 caliber rifle, and a Marlin .30-30 caliber rifle. Shoemaker expressed anti-Government sentiments, asserted he needed the weapons to protect himself from the Government, and admitted to possessing these weapons even though he had a prior felony conviction and thus was a prohibited person. Law enforcement also discovered bomb-making equipment in the home, but no fully constructed explosive devices.

The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney William J. Watkins, Jr. of the Greenville office handled the case.