In a recent development, an Americus, Georgia resident, Brandon Michael Hatfield, 31, was sentenced to serve 85 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on September 28. Hatfield was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He had previously pleaded guilty to the charges on May 25, after being arrested for attempting to steal a Rossi, 22LR caliber rifle from the local Walmart in Americus on November 18, 2022.
According to court documents, Hatfield’s attempt to steal the rifle was thwarted by vigilant Walmart employees. Subsequent investigations revealed that Hatfield had stolen a total of five rifles on separate occasions between November 1 and November 16, 2022. He confessed to stealing these firearms and later trading them for cash and drugs within the community.
Due to his past criminal convictions, including charges related to dealing methamphetamine, escape, and residential entry in Decatur County, Indiana, Hatfield was prohibited from possessing a firearm. It is illegal for individuals with felony convictions to own firearms.
Following his guilty plea, Hatfield was sentenced to 85 months in prison, which will be followed by three years of supervised release. He will not be eligible for parole. U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary emphasized the importance of tackling illegal firearms trafficking, stating that it directly contributes to violence on the streets. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka also highlighted the seriousness of Hatfield’s crimes, stating that such activities intensify violence in communities.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Americus Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Government.