Fort Mill Woman Pleads Guilty to Lying to Federal Agents
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Kirstie Elaine Philome Barratt, age 22, of Fort Mill, South Carolina pled guilty as charged today in federal court. Barratt plead guilty to making a false statement to a federal agent, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. Barratt plead straight up to the charge without a plea agreement. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that during the early morning hours of January 7, 2014, deputized task force agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Charlotte Safe Streets Task Force/Violent Crime Apprehension Team were in Fort Mill, South Carolina searching for a subject (hereinafter “Subject”) who was wanted for an armed robbery of a restaurant in North Carolina. Agents, in police attire and accompanied by York County Sheriff’s Department officers in marked units, approached the residence of the Subject’s girlfriend, Barratt, in an attempt to determine if the Subject was in the residence. After approximately 15 minutes of the agents knocking on the door and announcing their presence with a loud speaker, Barratt came to the door. Barratt, who was advised by agents that it was a crime to make a false statement to federal agents, told the agents that her boyfriend was not in the home, that she had not seen him for two (2) months because they had broken up, and that the only other persons in the residence were her parents. Barratt gave the agents consent to search the residence. Upon completing a sweep of the residence, agents located Barratt’s parents asleep in one upstairs bedroom and noticed the door shut to another upstairs bedroom. Agents could hear a dog barking in that other upstairs bedroom, so they asked Barratt to secure the dog so they could search the bedroom. Barratt went into the bedroom and came out with the dog. Agents then went into the bedroom and found the Subject crouched in the corner with his weapon drawn. Gunfire ensued and an FBI task force agent, as well as the Subject, were shot. Both Barratt and the Subject were taken into custody. Barratt later advised agents that she knew her boyfriend was in the residence, that she thought he was going to hide, and that when she entered the bedroom to retrieve the dog, she saw him with the gun, but did not tell the agents before allowing them to enter the bedroom.
Mr. Nettles stated that Barratt faces a statutory maximum sentence of five (5) years, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years following the term of imprisonment. Barratt also may face deportation as a result of her guilty plea.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the York County Sheriff’s Department, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case.