Crime & Courts

An ex-con is going back to prison after police say they found him with a gun

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A Columbia man who told authorities “I just got out of prison’’ is headed back to the slammer after police found him with a gun near Lorick Circle last year, federal prosecutors say.

Wilbert Green Jr., 30, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to four years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release Friday.

Green has a criminal record, including convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery, the latter in which he was accused of shooting a man during a robbery, prosecutors said. He has been convicted of violent crimes in both South Carolina and North Carolina, according to a federal court affidavit from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

After Green’s arrest in April 2018, authorities in Columbia learned that there were outstanding arrest warrants for him in Clarendon County for attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, the news release said.

At the time of the arrest, police found a loaded nine millimeter gun with an “extended high capacity magazine” in the man’s pants pocket. The gun later was linked to shell casings from an unsolved shooting in the Garner’s Ferry Road area in July 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday.

Details of the Clarendon and Richland cases were sketchy Friday. Repeated efforts to reach a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office and an attorney for Green were unsuccessful Friday. A 2015 incident report from Clarendon County lists Green as a suspect in a shooting in the Pinewood area. The victim was listed as a 45-year-old man.

According to the news release, city and federal officers arrested Green after seeing a man with a black pistol magazine hanging from his pants pocket while they were patrolling an apartment complex in the Lorick Circle area in April 2013. That prompted them to question him.

The man, who was holding an open container of beer at the time of the April 13 arrest, told authorities “I just got out of prison’’ when they approached him, the news release said.