District of South Carolina |  Georgia gang member sentenced to nearly six years in prison for murder while on bail for firearm possession

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Kendaryl Rogers aka “Elajuwon Rogers,” 30, of Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced to 71 months – nearly six years – in federal prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition seized by the U.S. Marshals Rogers was sentenced arrested in South Carolina on pending murder charges in Georgia. Rogers was a felon and was therefore prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

On March 11, 2021, U.S. Marshals discovered that Rogers was staying at a hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. At the time, Rogers was serving time in Georgia for kidnapping, assault and obstructing a person making an emergency call. Rogers is said to have hit a female victim in the face with his clenched fist. He was also wanted for arrest on 18 other Georgia felony charges, including first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated murder, six counts of Georgia gang statute, two counts of discharging a firearm during a felony, four counts of firearm possession, three counts for aggravated assault, two counts of making terroristic threats and assault, among other charges.

According to evidence presented in court, U.S. Marshals observed Rogers carrying a large black bag to a vehicle in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express in Columbia. As officers approached to arrest him, they saw an American multi-caliber omni-hybrid tactical pistol lying in plain view on the top of the bag with a stock attached. There was also a container for spent cartridge cases attached to the weapon so that no cartridge cases were left behind when the weapon was fired. Agents also found a bucket, rubber gloves and bleach in Rogers’ hotel room. There was distributed marijuana and a magazine with 31 rounds of .223 ammunition in the car.

The FBI recovered a video that Rogers had shared on social media the day before pointing the gun at the camera lens several times and found that Rogers had left his DNA and fingerprints on the gun. The FBI also recovered a recorded jailhouse call in which Rogers told the other caller the gun was “brand new, it was never used for anything, the gun was brand new.”

At sentencing, evidence was presented that Rogers was a member of a street gang. The court concluded that Rogers used the firearm in connection with drug distribution, and social media content recovered through a federal search warrant showed dozens of other firearm possessions.

State charges remain pending against Rogers in Georgia for shootings and firearm use in Columbus, Georgia, on August 6, 2020 (a murder and attempted murder incident prosecuted by the Gang Prosecution Unit of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office); August 8, 2020, December 30, 2020; and January 22, 2021. Rogers is presumed innocent of all charges that have not yet been adjudicated. State courts in Georgia granted Rogers bail on pending charges; He was incarcerated in the federal system in South Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Rogers to 71 months in federal prison, followed by three years of court supervision – both at the high end of the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local program Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s efforts to reduce violent crime. PSN is an evidence-based program proven effective in reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad range of stakeholders work together to identify the community’s most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses its enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and rehabilitation programs to permanently reduce crime.

This case was investigated by the FBI in South Carolina and Georgia and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, with critical assistance from the Columbia (SC) Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels prosecuted the case.


Media: Attached is a court exhibit showing the recovered firearm and other items, as well as two screenshots from Rogers’ social media broadcast.