Local drug trafficker pleads guilty, faces at least 20 years in prison

Mugshot of Clinton Kent French from an arrest in 2010

A local drug trafficker faces at least 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court.

Clinton Kent French, 32, of Lexington, was arrested on June 24 at the Roadway Inn Hotel. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Lexington County Sheriff's Office deputies presented a search warrant.

Once in the room, they found 135 grams of crystal methamphetamine, packaged in five separate bags for resale. A loaded firearm was also found in the room.

French pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, as well as felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. French admitted to possessing the firearm to further his drug trafficking.

Under United States Sentencing Guidelines, he qualifies as a "career offender" and "armed career criminal" due to multiple prior felony drug convictions.

United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, of Columbia, accepted the guilty plea; she will impose the sentence after reviewing the pre-sentence report from the U.S. Probation Office.

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