Convicted Felon, Charleston Magee Guilty of Illegally Possessing Firearms in PSN Investigation
COLUMBUS, GA (STL.News) A Columbus resident with several prior felony convictions pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm resulting from a Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) investigation.
Charleston Magee, aka Chopp, 33, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Judge Clay Land on Tuesday, August 3. Magee faces a maximum prison sentence of ten years to be followed by three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for October 20. There is no parole in the federal system.
“It is illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms. Repeat offenders caught with illegal weapons in Columbus will face federal prosecution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The Columbus Police Department is working closely with ATF and our federal and state law enforcement partners to hold repeat offenders accountable for their continued criminal actions, working toward a safer community.”
“Our communities deserve to be safe from violent criminals. Project Safe Neighborhoods allows ATF and our federal, state and local partners to focus on the individuals who choose to utilize firearms to commit their heinous crimes and terrorize our communities,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt. “ATF will continue to participate in and support this very important initiative. Anyone who possesses a gun in the commission of a crime is a danger to everyone, and it is crucial that we continue to focus our efforts on identifying, investigating and removing these individuals from our streets.”
“I am pleased with the outcome of this case and I am thankful for our partnership with our federal partners. We will continue to work together to make cases to keep our community safe from criminal offenders. This type behavior will not be tolerated in Columbus, Georgia,” said Chief Freddie Blackmon, Columbus Police Department.
According to court documents, the Special Operations Unit of the Columbus Police Department (CPD) met with a confidential informant (CI) in August 2019 about an individual known as “Chopp” who was distributing illegal drugs in the community. Under surveillance, the CI purchased illegal drugs from Magee in August and September 2019.
Officers executing a search warrant at Magee’s residence on September 16, 2019, found quantities of methamphetamine, powder and crack cocaine in baggies, a Glock 19 handgun with a large-capacity extended magazine containing six rounds of live ammunition, a .22 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, an extended pistol magazine and $3,000 in cash. Magee was previously convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Muscogee County, Georgia, Superior Court. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals prosecuted the case for the Government.