//Seven Georgians indicted on firearm charges

Seven Georgians indicted on firearm charges

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Seven individuals indicted on federal firearms charges under agencies’ collaborative effort

Investigations target illegally possessed firearms

SAVANNAH, GA:  Seven defendants face federal felony firearms after indictments by a U.S. District Court grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia. 

All of those charged are prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions or illegal drug use. The cases are being investigated under the Department of Justice initiative targeting illegal firearms, and in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) and local law enforcement agencies and.

“Getting illegally possessed firearms out of the hands of convicted felons is a high priority of our law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “This collaborative effort to enforce existing law makes our streets safer.”

In the past three years, more than 650 defendants were federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for carrying a firearm after having been convicted of a previous felony. The charge carries a penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system. Nationwide, more than 14,200 defendants were charged with federal firearms violations in the past year – 180 of them in the Southern District.

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

  • William Thomas Nealous III, 30, of Martinez, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession of Methamphetamine.
  • Julian Theophilus Moffett, 39, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Robert Kenneth Williams, 32, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  
  • Timothy Mario Mitchell, 23, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  
  • Deonte Brown, 26, of Port Wentworth, Ga., charged with Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Burney Cobb, 40, of Port Wentworth, Ga, charged with Possession of a Stolen Firearm; and two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Clifford Pevey, 39, of Gainesville, Ga., charged with Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

The charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon carries a possible penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

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

In addition to these cases, at least three defendants recently have appeared in court on firearms charges, including:

  • Dominque Johnson, 32, of Augusta, sentenced to 60 months in prison, fined $1,500 and ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Ivan Hughes, 35, of Augusta, sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Patrick Allen Scott, 28, of Hephzibah, Ga., who pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and awaits sentencing; and,
  • Matthew Kyle Brazell, 34, of Grovetown, Ga., who pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, related to a prior conviction for domestic violence. Brazell awaits sentencing.

These cases also are investigated under the Prosecutor to Prosecutor Program (P3), in which federal and state prosecutors collaborate to determine the most appropriate venue for prosecuting crimes.

In addition to the ATF, agencies investigating the cases include the Savannah Police Department; the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; the Rincon Police Department; and the Port Wentworth Police Department.

The cases are being investigated for the United States by Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Project Guardian Coordinator Henry W. Syms; Jennifer Stanley; Alejandro V. Pascual IV; John Harper; and Noah Abrams.

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you fall 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. 

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