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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of South Carolina

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2013

Bill Nettles, United States Attorney

Contact: Stacey D. Haynes
(803) 929-3000

Bloods Member Sentenced to 10 Years On Firearm And Drug Charges

Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that JOHN HENRY GRIFFIN, age 28, of Columbia, South Carolina was sentenced to 120 months (10 years) imprisonment today in federal court. This past December, GRIFFIN plead guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and one count of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of marijuana, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2) and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(D). United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia imposed the imprisonment sentence, which will be followed by four (4) years of supervised release.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on September 22, 2011, officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to the Flying J Truck Stop in response to a tip that GRIFFIN, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant, was at the location. Officers located Griffin and a search revealed that GRIFFIN had on his person a loaded Smithfield Armory .40 caliber handgun and two baggies of marijuana (approximately 2 ounces). GRIFFIN was charged with state charges and later released on bond.

Approximately three months later, on December 30, 2011, officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a 911 call about a man making threats with a firearm in an apartment complex. Upon arriving at the scene, officers located GRIFFIN, who fit the description given of the man with the firearm, and found him in possession of a loaded Smith and Wesson .380 caliber handgun on his person. GRIFFIN was arrested at the scene.

GRIFFIN, a Bloods street gang member, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and/or ammunition based upon his prior state felony convictions. GRIFFIN has prior state convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of ecstacy, unlawful carrying of a pistol, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Columbia Police Department, 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.