Fairfax Man Sentenced In Amtrack Wreck Conspiracy

Columbia, SC (WJBF) – Wednesday, United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that 34-year-old James Duvall Love, of Fairfax, South Carolina was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment in federal court.

On June 17, 2015 Love pleaded guilty to two separate charges: conspiracy to commit wire fraud/cause a train wreck/interfere with a train operator and to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). United States District Court Judge Michelle Childs sentenced Love to 46 months imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release on each charge, to run concurrently, and ordered Love to make restitution to Amtrack in the amount of $46,690.27. Judge Childs stated that a sentence at the top of the sentencing guidelines range was warranted due to the “very serious” nature of the case.

With regard to the firearm and ammunition charge, evidence presented at the earlier change of plea hearing established that on August 30, 2013, an officer with the Fairfax Police Department was on routine patrol when he noticed Love walking down the road with a shotgun in his hand. When the officer turned his car around, Love laid the firearm down and kept walking. The officer approached Love and asked why he was walking down the street with a shotgun, Love replied, that someone at the club had been talking negatively toward him. Love was detained on a state weapon charge and the loaded shotgun was seized. Love was thereafter released on state bond. Further investigation revealed that Love was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon prior state convictions for distribution of cocaine, failure to stop for blue light, and possession of crack cocaine.

With regard to the conspiracy charge, the evidence presented showed that during the early morning hours of September 6, 2013, Love and Deon Dovell Roberts parked a car at Bakers Mill Crossing in Allendale, South Carolina, in the path of an oncoming Amtrak passenger train, got out of the car prior to the collision, and then returned to the car after the collision, feigning injury, all for the purpose of submitting bogus claims for personal injuries and other losses. Roberts pleaded guilty in federal court on November 2, 2015 and is awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Amtrak Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Fairfax Police Department, and the Allendale County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Klumb and Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the prosecution of the case.

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