Sumter man with previous felonies sentenced to 20 years for drugs, firearms

Firearms sales include semiautomatic; already convicted for armed robbery, grand larceny, burglary


A Sumter man has been sentenced to almost 20 years for firearms and drug convictions.

Leandre “Bubba” Budden, 35, faces 235 months of incarceration because of his conviction for possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine, according to United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon.

Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson handed down the sentence after evidence presented in court established Budden sold both firearms and drugs throughout Sumter County in April and May 2017, including a semiautomatic weapon, Lydon said in a news release.

Budden was prohibited under federal law from possession firearms based on prior and separate state convictions for armed robbery, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, grand larceny and burglary, according to the release.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Budden was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which “aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.”

“Project CeaseFire is South Carolina’s continued application of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone,” the release states.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the ride of rising violent crime in America a top priority, the release states. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since its launch in 2001.