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Darlington man sentenced in federal court on drug charges

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FLORENCE, S.C. —Cory Dewayne McNeal, 39, of Darlington, has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute those substances.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on April 17, 2020, a deputy with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office approached a car in the parking lot of a hotel in Florence, South Carolina.

Cory McNeal was sitting in the driver’s seat. Upon approaching the car, the deputy noticed an odor of marijuana and saw marijuana remnants on McNeal’s pants.

The deputy also saw a clear plastic bag that appeared to contain marijuana near the center console.

Deputies searched the car and located a firearm, a digital scale, 0.44 gram of cocaine, 3.36 grams of crack cocaine, 4.44 grams of marijuana, 10 grams of fentanyl, 21.61 grams of heroin, 97 tablets containing 23.25 grams of methamphetamine, and an additional 5.04 grams of methamphetamine.

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced McNeal to 151 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods, 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Hummel prosecuted the case.

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