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Date: 03-02-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Dakota F. Brown

Case Number: 3:21-cr-00866

Judge: Sherri A. Lydon

Court: United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (Richland County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Columbia

Defendant's Attorney:

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On January 4, 2021, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputy conducted a traffic stop of Dakota F. Brown’s vehicle following a traffic violation. Brown, the driver, exited the vehicle and removed a fanny pack from across his chest, laying it in the driver’s seat before walking back to talk to the deputy. After deputies smelled marijuana, the vehicle was searched. The search revealed a loaded 9mm firearm, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and amphetamine within the fanny pack that Brown previously removed from his person. After waiving his Miranda rights, Brown admitted that the items were his and that he had bought the gun off the street in December.

A ballistics analysis through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) linked the firearm to shell casings recovered from December 2020 shooting in Richland County. Local authorities have arrested another individual for that shooting and have no evidence linking Brown to the incident. NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit

Brown, who has been in custody since his January 2021 arrest, is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior felony state convictions, which include strong arm robbery, possession of crack cocaine, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Additionally, at the time of this incident, Brown was on federal supervised release after serving a 108-month sentence from a 2011 federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

United States District Court Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Brown to 96 months in prison, to be served consecutive to the 24-month sentence he received for violating his terms of supervised release. After completing his 120-month sentence, Brown will be on supervised release for 6 years.

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. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes prosecuted the case.

Outcome: Brown was sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by 6 years of supervised release.

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