Man has sentence cut in half

An Aiken County man originally sentenced to 20 years in prison has retroactively had his punishment halved.

Freddie Lee Roper of North Augusta was convicted in 2010 of conspiring to traffic more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. He was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes, the minimum punishment available at the time. Roper's sentence was enhanced as he had a previous drug crime conviction – a 2007 possession of marijuana charge from Augusta.

However, a change in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines meant that the minimum for Roper's crime was now significantly less – that of 10 years in prison. The change was part of a movement to offer parity in sentences for powder cocaine and crack cocaine. Crack cocaine crimes have been subject to stiffer penalties in the past and in 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court changed the FSG.

Roper filed for his sentence to be voided, and was successful. This week his new sentence was made public.