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Repeat Felon Sentenced to Statutory Maximum Resulting from PSN Investigation

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Arrested person hands closeup, prisoner talking to lawyer during interrogation

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm, the statutory maximum under federal sentencing guidelines.

Charleston Magee, aka Chopp, 33, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Clay Land on Oct. 20, after he previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Convicted felons caught illegally possessing a firearm will face serious consequences,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Repeat offenders who continually break the law will be held accountable for their crimes. I want to thank the Columbus Police Department and the ATF for their work on this case.”

“Convicted felons have no business possessing firearms,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt. “The citizens of Columbus are safer now that Mr. Magee will spend the next ten years of his life in federal prison.”


“I am pleased with the outcome of this case and I am thankful for our partnership with the ATF. We will continue to work together to make gun cases on those who possess them illegally. This type of behavior will not be tolerated in Columbus, Georgia,” said Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon.

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.

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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.

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