Crime & Courts

Columbia man sentenced to more than 12 years in prison

A Columbia man will spend 151 months -- more than 12 1/2 years in prison -- on federal drug and weapons charges, a judge has ruled.

Joshua Juston Seibles, 24, was sentenced in federal court to imprisonment for for stealing and possessing firearms, and to possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, the U.S. Attorney's Office said today. The sentence, imposed by U.S. Judge Margaret B. Seymour, will be followed by three years of supervised release.

Numerous firearms and ammunition were stolen in March 2007 from Columbia gun store Wateree Arms. The investigation led authorities to Seibles’ residence, where officers said they recovered many of the firearms and ammunition, and also located a stash of marijuana.

Seibles, reports indicate, admitted to breaking into Wateree Arms, stealing the firearms and ammunition, obliterating the serial numbers of many of them, and selling 10 of the firearms on the streets. Seibles, who was on state probation at the time, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition based upon prior state convictions for burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

The investigation was handled by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department as part of an initiative to prosecute firearms related crimes.

-- From Staff Reports