Man sentenced for procuring firearms used in Atlanta-area crimes

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ATLANTA – Ben’Andre Javon Goolsby has been sentenced to prison for unlawfully acquiring dozens of firearms, several of which were later recovered by police at various crime scenes in the metro-Atlanta area and beyond.

“Goolsby’s illegal purchases of firearms helped fuel the violence in our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “Those who illegally receive, possess, and peddle weapons face prosecution and significant federal prison terms for their actions.”

“By putting guns in the hands of criminals, Mr. Goolsby has violated the trust of his community, the trust of those he should care about and has contributed to the unnecessary violence in our communities,” said Arthur Peralta, ATF Special Agent in Charge.  “It is not okay to buy guns for people who cannot legally own them and doing so has consequences.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: From October 2017 through the date of his arrest in May 2020, Ben’Andre Javon Goolsby purchased 33 pistols from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Jonesboro, Georgia.  Most of the firearms were 9mm and .40 caliber pistols.  On several occasions, Goolsby purchased multiple guns of identical make, model, and caliber within a single week.  

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During each transaction, Goolsby falsely stated to the firearms dealer that he was not under indictment for a felony offense.  In fact, Goolsby knew at the time of each of his many purchases that he had been indicted in Rockdale County, Georgia, for a smash-and-grab burglary and other crimes.  Those charges related to a 2014 break-in at a pawn shop from which Goolsby and others stole numerous firearms.  Because federal law prohibits any person under indictment from receiving firearms, each of Goolsby’s purchases was unlawful.

Several of the guns that Goolsby purchased found their way into the hands of people who sought to—and did—use them unlawfully.  For example, in September 2018, police officers in Forest Park, Georgia, pulled over a car in which one of the 9mm pistols Goolsby bought was found alongside two other guns, pepper spray, walkie-talkies, and a taser.  The vehicle’s occupants were dressed entirely in black and had black masks and gloves. 

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In June 2019, sheriff’s deputies in Decatur, Georgia, found another of Goolsby’s 9mm pistols in the possession of a fugitive who was wanted on aggravated assault charges.  A month later, also in Decatur, police confiscated a Goolsby-purchased .40 caliber pistol from a 19-year-old suspected of robbing a jewelry store and burglarizing a dollar store and gas station.

Ben’Andre Javon Goolsby, 25, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on June 25, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown, to three years, four months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Goolsby was convicted of making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer and unlawful receipt of a firearm, after he pleaded guilty on January 11, 2021.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime, the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.

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For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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