A Lexington County man pled guilty Wednesday to federal charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute and "possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime." Paul Archibald Beatty, 29, may wish he hadn't called a local drug dealer on September 21, 2007 to demand the return of crack cocaine Beatty had delivered earlier.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Columbia, When Beatty made the call, West Columbia Police were in the process of arresting the local dealer. At the direction of the police, the dealer, who as not identified by the U.S. attorney, set up a meeting with Beatty at a nearby carwash to return the drugs.
Beatty was arrested when he arrived for the meeting. During a search of his home, authorities found 90 grams of crack cocaine (worth more than $14,000) and a number of firearms.
Beatty could face $8,000,000 in fines and life in prison, "plus a special assessment of $200." Sentence will be imposed at a later date by U.S. District Judge Camerom Currie of Columbia.