Jury Finds SC Man Guilty of Gun & Drug Offenses After Advertising Drugs for Sale on Social Media

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com
Sheriff of Marlboro County

COLUMBIA, S.C. —Booker Henley, 29, of Columbia, was found guilty by a federal jury yesterday for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that on March 10, 2023, a deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Henley’s vehicle in the northeast area of Columbia near the intersection of Farrow Road and Hardscrabble Road. Henley fled and escaped from the deputy but crashed his vehicle moments later near the 2700 block of Clemson Rd. Members of the public reported the crash and multiple RCSD deputies responded to the crash site believing the vehicle was the same vehicle that had fled earlier. The vehicle smelled of marijuana and when deputies searched the vehicle they found a loaded firearm with an extended magazine, a bag containing 252 grams of marijuana, and a bill of sale for a separate vehicle in Henley’s name.

Prior to the crash, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), observed Henley’s social media accounts where he posted pictures of himself and advertised marijuana for sale. ATF obtained surveillance footage from the area which showed Henley running from the vehicle wearing unique clothing. Henley had previously posted pictures of himself wearing the same unique clothing on social media. Law enforcement also received a search warrant for his social media account which confirmed that Booker Henley was using social media to advertise and sell drugs in the days before and after the crash. Notably, social media messages revealed that he had completed a drug sale in Columbia approximately 45 minutes before the chase with law enforcement. Additionally, they showed that he messaged someone four days after the crash admitting to wrecking his “skat” which is a term used to reference certain models of Dodge Chargers.

Lastly, Henley’s DNA was found on both the firearm and the extended magazine. Henley has prior convictions for pointing and presenting a firearm at a person, breaking into a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen pistol, and failure to stop for blue lights.

Booker Henley faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $750,000, restitution, and five years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie presided over the trial and will sentence Henley after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lamar J. Fyall and Elizabeth Major are prosecuting the case.

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