BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 27-year-old Burton man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for trafficking crack cocaine and illegally possessing a handgun.
Jermel V. James pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking crack-cocaine, second offense, and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.
On Oct. 13, 2011, Beaufort County sheriff's deputies conducted a traffic stop on Alexandria Loop in Burton. Investigators say that during the stop, James ran off, but was apprehended a short time later.
A search of his car revealed 15 grams of crack-cocaine in the glove box along with a stolen handgun.
James, who was convicted of attempted armed robbery in 2001, is prohibited from possessing a gun. Additionally, he has prior convictions for two counts of possession of crack-cocaine, possession of crack-cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and failure to stop for blue lights.
"He is a drug dealer who never learned his lesson," assistant solicitor Carra Henderson said. "Unfortunately, he didn't get the message after spending five years in prison. He became an even more dangerous career criminal, who was dealing drugs with a pistol in the car."