Seven indicted on charges including federal gun felonies

Seven indicted on charges including federal gun felonies

Seven defendants indicted on charges including federal gun felonies

Charges allege illegal possession of firearms

SAVANNAH, GA (STL.News) Seven defendants face felony firearms charges after indictments by a U.S. District Court grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia.

The cases are being investigated in collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI, with charges related to illegal possession of firearms.

“By coordinating with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to make our streets safer as we remove illegally possessed firearms,” said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

In the past three years, more than 680 defendants were federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a previous felony.  That charge carries a statutory penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

Defendants named in federal indictments from the June 2021 term of the U.S. District Court grand jury include:

Matthew Ryan Gordon, 31, of Brunswick, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, and Heroin; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
Charles Walker, 53, of Savannah, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
Kenneth Mitchell, 29, of Savannah, charged with Possession of with Intent to Distribute BMDP (bath salts); Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
Joe Welcome, 33, of Pooler, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
Damario Antron Williams, 35, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
Bryan Heyward, 20, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and,
Leaa Jones, 23, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Additional defendants recently have been adjudicated on charges that include illegal firearms possession, including:

John Thomas Barnes III, 32, of Augusta, was sentenced to 84 months in prison, fined $1,500 and ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Barnes March 27, 2020, after finding him in illegal possession of a pistol.

Tona Nikia Wright, 47, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Drug User, and Violation of Security Regulations and Orders regarding Department of Defense properties.  Wright admitted that she was an unlawful user of cocaine and marijuana, and that on April 30, 2020, she entered a controlled access point at Fort Gordon Military Reservation without properly reporting the Taurus .380 caliber pistol in her possession.

Terrence Latroy Brown, 30, of North Charleston, S.C., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Drug User.  Brown admitted that on April 29, 2020, he was an illegal user of methamphetamine and Eutylone when Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies found him illegally possessing an assault-style rifle.

Malcolm Robinson Brown, 38, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  Brown admitted to illegally possessing a loaded pistol when questioned May 16, 2020, by Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies.

Brian Thomas Myers, 35, of Beech Island, S.C., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Transfer of an Illegal Firearm – a sawed-off shotgun – to an ATF agent.  A co-defendant, Alisha Nicole Howard, 35, of Augusta, also awaits sentencing after pleading guilty May 12 to Transfer of an Illegal Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Distribution of Methamphetamine, Fentanyl and Heroin.  The charges stem from an August 2018 ATF investigation that led to the defendants’ arrests.

Joseph Edward Palmer, 28, of Thomson, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  Palmer admitted illegally possessing a pistol when questioned May 22, 2020, by Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies.
These cases also are being investigated under the Prosecutor to Prosecutor Program (P3), in which federal and state prosecutors collaborate to determine the most appropriate venue for adjudication of alleged crimes.

Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF; the FBI; the Savannah Police Department; the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; the Chatham County Police Department; the Glynn County Police Department; and the Brunswick Police Department.

The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Project Guardian Coordinator Henry W. Syms Jr., Patricia G. Rhodes, E. Gregory Gilluly Jr., Joshua S. Bearden, Marcela C. Mateo, Alejandro V. Pascual IV, and Steven H. Lee, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edwin Caban.

Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she falls into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon; illegal alien; or unlawful user of a controlled substance.  Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime.  It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others.  Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, also is a federal offense.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today

About Waqar Nawaz 3718 Articles
Waqar Nawaz has published content for STL.News for approximately three years. He is dedicated to publishing news released by the US Department of Justice. He actively monitors the web for fresh releases to help keep the public informed.