Southwest Georgia Resident Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegal Firearm Possession

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Tomario Ricardo Hicks, a 42-year-old resident of Albany, Southwest Georgia, with a history of criminal convictions, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm. U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner handed down the sentence on November 9, ordering Hicks to serve 180 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Hicks had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on January 26.

Hicks, who is not eligible for parole, was apprehended during a traffic stop in Albany on January 28, 2022. During the stop for speeding, Hicks discarded a quantity of methamphetamine from his vehicle. He admitted to carrying a firearm, despite being a prohibited person. Law enforcement discovered a .380 caliber pistol on the driver’s side floorboard, along with a digital scale in the center console and a box of baggies in the backseat.

Hicks has a significant criminal history, including multiple prior felony convictions for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in Dougherty County Superior Court, Georgia.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary emphasized the commitment to federal consequences for repeat offenders who pose a threat to community safety by illegally possessing firearms. Leary stated, “Working with our law enforcement partners from every level, we will focus our collective resources to reduce crime and make our neighborhoods as safe as possible.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), and the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit (ADDU) collaborated on the investigation. ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka highlighted the seriousness of criminals gaining access to firearms and endangering communities, stating, “ATF takes this very seriously.”

The case is part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, which aims to reduce violent crime through evidence-based strategies. By focusing on the most violent offenders, PSN works with various stakeholders to develop comprehensive solutions for lasting reductions in crime.