Florence, South Carolina —- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Joseph Leslie Griggs, 52, of Hartsville, South Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Florence to being a felon in possession of firearms.
Evidence presented to the court showed that on June 28, 2017, deputies with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Griggs’ residence in Hartsville, South Carolina. During the execution of the search warrant, deputies recovered 24 firearms, some of which were stolen. Federal law prohibits Griggs from possessing firearms based on his prior state conviction for Grand Larceny.
Griggs faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. United States District Judge Donald C. Coggins, Jr., accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Griggs after receiving and reviewing a presentence report prepared by the United States Probation Office.
The charges against Griggs were the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Project CeaseFire is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a crime reduction strategy originally launched in 2001 that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Turning the tide of rising violent crime in America is a top priority for the Department of Justice, which has reinstituted PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy. Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Hummel of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.