Man convicted in gun, cocaine case


A federal jury found a North Charleston man guilty Wednesday of drug and firearms charges stemming from a chase on Interstate 26 in 2006, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Roosevelt Dewell Ross, 29, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to a press release.

The combined charges carry a minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison. Ross will be sentenced after a pre-sentencing report.

The pursuit in Dec. 29, 2006, in Orangeburg County started near mile marker 139 and ended when a stolen 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis crashed into a tree, authorities said at the time. Evidence at trial showed that the chase reached speeds exceeding 100 mph.

Prosecutors said that at one point, Ross drove west in the eastbound lane of the freeway, against the flow of heavy holiday traffic.

Troopers stopped the chase out of safety concerns, but a few minutes later, Ross lost control of the car and wrecked.

Ross and two other occupants fled, leaving on the ground outside the car two handguns and a bag of cocaine, prosecutors said. Ross and one other man were tracked down with help from a State Law Enforcement Division helicopter and police dogs.

The third occupant has never been apprehended.

Ross was then taken to Orangeburg Regional Medical Center for treatment of an injury suffered in the crash, prosecutors said. While there, hospital personnel found two additional bags of cocaine under a stretcher in the room where Ross had been.

The guilty verdict followed a two-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Margaret B. Seymour in Columbia.