Seven defendants indicted on charges including federal gun felonies

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SAVANNAH, GA:  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.

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

  

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:

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.

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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. 

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For more information on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/atf-form-4473.

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