United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Tony Raymond Ouzts, age 47, and Daniel Neil Alexander, age 49, of Hull, Georgia, and Anderson, South Carolina, respectively, recently pled guilty in federal court in Greenville to drug related charges. Ouzts pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924.
Alexander pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks of Charleston accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Ouzts and Alexander, over numerous months, had conspired to distribute in excess of 6500 grams of methamphetamine. An investigation into the activity of the two men revealed that Ouzts was bringing regular deliveries of methamphetamine from Georgia to Alexander, in Anderson, SC. At the time of arrest, Ouzts was found to be additionally in possession of a Smith & Wesson 9 mm and a Romarm/Cugir AK-47 pistol.
Ms. Drake stated that the defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison as well as a fine of $10,000,000.
Ouzts and Alexander were arrested as a part of “Operation Real-Time.” The goal of this program is to identify individuals for federal prosecution with significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Upstate community. In addition to the Anderson Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Real Time’s core partners include the Greenville Police Department, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office; the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services; the South Carolina Highway Patrol; United States Probation; the Department of Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office; and the United States Attorney’s Office. Since August of 2015, the initiative has resulted in the expedited federal prosecution of some 90 defendants and seizure of approximately 110 firearms as well as assorted ammunition from prohibited persons.
U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the partnership between the state and federal agencies that led to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s Office adopting the case, “We work best when we work together. This ‘real time’ identification of high risk offenders is smart policing, and we welcome the opportunity to work alongside our state chiefs and sheriffs in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”
The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms working in conjunction with the Anderson Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Assistant United States Attorney D. Josev Brewer of the Greenville office handled the case.