Lexington man gets 10 years on charge of selling marijuana

United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced Tuesday that Harold James Jones, Jr., 49, of Lexington, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on Dec. 2, 2016, law enforcement was notified of a Ford Explorer that was failing to stop for the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office. A Trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol observed the vehicle and performed a traffic stop. As the Trooper approached the vehicle, driven by Jones, he could smell an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The Trooper located approximately 52 grams of marijuana, along with a scale, sandwich baggies, a box of .38 caliber ammunition, and a handgun. Jones further admitted to selling marijuana.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Jones to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by a four-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local 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. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Rankin Smith of the 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney William K. Witherspoon of the Columbia office handled the sentencing.