Two Sumter men face decades in prison for firearm and drug charges that include selling crack cocaine veiled as heroin.
Brandon Leroid Cummings, 27, is guilty of possession with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin and crack cocaine and conspiracy to use/carry/possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and Brandon Christopher Craft, 30, is guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to use/carry/possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, according to United States Attorney Beth Drake.
Chief U.S. District Judge Terry L. Wooten, of Columbia, accepted the guilty pleas and will impose the men's sentences after he has reviewed the presentence reports, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Cummings was charged after he distributed crack cocaine and "four baggies of heroin to a confidential informant and undercover officer in exchange for $400" on May 17, 2017, according to evidence presented in court during the guilty plea hearing.
The transaction, which occurred in Sumter, was recorded on audio and video.
On May 25, 2017, Cummings made arrangements to sell a firearm and heroin to the confidential informant in exchange for $800.
When Cummings arrived to meet the person and an undercover officer, he was accompanied by Craft, U.S. Attorney's documents show. Cummings sold the informant what he said was heroin. Craft produced a Taurus .38-caliber revolver from a bag hidden in his waistband and gave it to the informant.
An investigation revealed the firearm had been stolen, and the drugs, while packaged like the previously sold heroin, was found to be cocaine during a laboratory analysis.
Cummings faces enhanced penalty on the drug charge in light of prior state convictions for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, two counts of possession of crack cocaine and second offense of possession of a schedule I/schedule II controlled substance.
Each man faces a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than three years on the conspiracy to use/carry/possess a firearm during a drug trafficking crime charge.
Cummings also faces a maximum of 30 years, a fine of $2 million and a term of supervised release of at least six years for the drug charge.
Craft faces a maximum of 10 years, a fine of $250,000 and not more than three years of supervised release for the felon in possession charge.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives and Sumter County Sheriff's Office and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey S. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.
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