Kidnapping suspect gets 17 years in federal pen for ammo charges

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 4/19/2013

The accused kidnapper of a 15-year-old girl was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

Freddie Grant, 52, of Elgin, SC, was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition on Jan. 15, according to court documents. Authorities discovered the ammunition in Grant’s home in August while executing a search warrant in the disappearance of 15-year-old Gabrielle “Gabbiee” Swainson. The girl was kidnapped from her home in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2012. Swainson is still missing.

The federal charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 in prison and/or a fine of $250,000. However, U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie said she gave Grant a higher than usual sentence because he is an armed career criminal who has broken laws since he was 20 years old, according to a report from The State newspaper in Columbia. He has previous convictions for assault with grievous bodily harm and kidnapping while stationed in Korea with the Army, and a possession with intent to distribute cocaine conviction in South Carolina.

Grant also faces a criminal kidnapping charge in Richland County Fifth Judical Circuit Court in connection with Gabbiee’s disappearance. Those charges were filed Feb. 8, according to online records.

It is not yet known how Grant’s conviction in the federal case will affect the trial for the kidnapping charges, which were filed on the state level.

Gabbiee is the daughter of OOIDA Member Alvin Thompson, who lives in Virginia. Grant had dated her mother and became a suspect when he refused to answer basic questions from police. Grant is also a suspect in the disappearance of a Homestead, FL, woman who was last seen at his home in September 2011. He is also a suspect in the murder of a Kershaw County man in October 2011.

Land Line staff writer Kimberely Lennard contributed to this report.

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