COLUMBIA, SC (WFXG) - A federal grand jury recently indicted two Aiken men on gun charges.
Jesse James Quarles, 33, and Kenneth Islar, 27, were each charged in separate indictments with felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
During arraignment hearing on July 29 in Columbia, S.C., the government asked that both men be detained, according to the attorney's office. Both men entered not guilty pleas and waived their right to a detention hearing. They both remain in custody.
The penalty for felon in possession of a firearm is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100, U.S. Attorney William Nettles said.
However, Nettles said if Quarles or Islar is classified as an armed career criminal, they could face increased penalties - a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, a fine of $250,000, a five-year supervised release and a special assessment fee of $100.
Qaurles and Islar were both part of the Aiken Safe Communities Initiative - an effort to reduce violent crime in Aiken, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Quarles - in June 2013 - and Islar - in May 2014 - were notified by a panel of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that continued violent behavior and criminal activity would result in swift apprehension and prosecution.
They were also offered opportunities to connect with area service providers and nonprofit organizations to reduce repeat offenses, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety. Those organizations offer services such as education assistance, job training and counseling.