Multiple defendants prosecuted on federal firearms charges

SAVANNAH, GA: Four people have been indicted in the Southern District of Georgia on felony charges including illegal firearms possession, while additional defendants have been sentenced to federal prison or await further proceedings after pleading guilty to federal charges including illegal possession of firearms. 

The cases are prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods in collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI, to reduce violent crime with measures that include targeting convicted felons who illegally carry guns.

“In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are committed to the safety and security of our communities,” said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Removing guns from the hands of violent criminals and convicted felons makes all of us safer.”  

In the past four years, more than 835 defendants have been federally prosecuted in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after conviction for a previous felony. That charge carries a statutory penalty of up to 15 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

Those indicted during the July term of the U.S. District Court Grand Jury include:

  • Marqus Jamal Flanders, 37, of Brunswick, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, and MDMA; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Jonathan Duncan, 38, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Jaques B. Pope, 31, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and,
  • Chester Morgan, 53, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firarm by a Convicted Felon.

Defendants recently adjudicated on federal firearms charges include:

  • Marshall Lee Cushman, 39, of Augusta, was sentenced to 180 months in prison and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent retrieved a rifle from an Avera, Ga., residence in September 2021, and Cushman admitted leaving the gun there. Cushman has multiple prior felony convictions.
  • Taipai La’Don Brewer, 43, of Augusta, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Brewer in July 2022 after finding a pistol and drugs in his car during a traffic stop as part of the Operation Grace investigation of gang-related crimes in the Augusta area.
  • Trevor Elijah Walker, 24, of Augusta, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies were attempting to serve arrest warrants on Walker in November 2019 when he ran away, dropping a pistol as he fled.
  • Terrance Webster Dunn, 32, of Augusta, was sentenced to 63 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Dunn was arrested in October 2022 when Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies investigated a report of a man riding a bike in a shopping center parking lot, taking photos of himself while holding a pistol and found Dunn with a pistol in his waistband. Dunn was on federal supervised release at the time of his arrest for a prior conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
  • Lear A. Williams, 33, of Savannah, was sentenced to 54 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers in September 2022 were investigating reports of a man selling drugs when they found a pistol and ammunition in Williams’ possession.
  • Carl Williams, 52, of Savannah, was sentenced to 31 months in prison and fined $4,500 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Investigators from the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division searched Williams’ residence as part of an investigation into stolen military equipment and found three semiautomatic pistols in Williams’ possession. Williams previously pled guilty and was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on a felony charge of Conspiracy to Traffic in Stolen Government Property for receiving and reselling gun sights and night-vision equipment stolen from the U.S. Navy.
  • Devonte Malik Jorame, 25, of Aiken, S.C., was sentenced to 28 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jorame in June 2022 after finding a pistol in his vehicle during a traffic stop as part of Operation Grace. Jorame has prior state criminal convictions for domestic violence and gun possession.
  • James Travon Walker, 22, of Savannah, was sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Stolen Firearm. Chatham County Police officers arrested Walker while responding to a report of a vehicle break-in and found a backpack belonging to Walker containing two pistols stolen from the vehicle.
  • Donald D. Walker, 28, of Hinesville, Ga., was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to False Statement During Attempted Purchase of a Firearm. Walker denied being under indictment when he signed forms required for buying a gun at a Hinesville gun store. Walker’s criminal history includes convictions for assault and family violence.
  • Kerry Akeem Milledge, 37, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Milledge was charged in March 2022 by Savannah Police after a traffic stop of a car in which officers found multiple firearms, drugs and cash in the vehicle. Milledge has multiple prior convictions involving guns and drugs. A passenger in the vehicle, Antron Ozier Charles, 19, of Pooler, Ga., was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.
  • Johnny Harris, 23, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He was arrested in October 2022 by Savannah Police officers investigating reports of shots fired near Frazier Homes, and determined Harris possessed an assault-style pistol while fleeing the area. Harris previously was convicted of illegal gun possession.  
  • Danny Swinney, 29, of Buford, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to False Statement During Purchase of Firearm. As described in court, Swinney acknowledged acting as a straw purchaser to buy five handguns and shotgun from a Camden County pawn shop. Those guns were recovered days later in New Jersey.

Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Savannah Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia State Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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. 

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

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