Man pleads guilty to drug and gun charges

Man pleads guilty to drug and gun charges

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Columbia man has pleaded guilty to federal gun and drug charges.

Joshua Cain Sharpe, 39, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in federal court in Columbia. A federal judge accepted the plea and Sharpe will be sentenced at a later date.

Federal prosecutors say in November of 2015, Columbia Police officers responding to a shoplifting call at a clothing store on Bush River Road found a vehicle driven by a woman whose description matched one of the shoplifters. As officers approached the vehicle, they noticed the scent of marijuana and searched the car.

Upon searching the car, investigators say they found a gun inside the fuse panel and more than 11 grams of meth under the driver's seat. Police say they also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the car.

When they entered the store, police say they found Sharpe, who matched the description of the other person described in the shoplifting incident. Sharpe admitted to officers the gun and meth were his. Police say they also found text messages on Sharpe's cell phone referring to drug trade.

Federal law prohibits Sharpe from having a gun because of previous state convictions.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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