Southern District of Georgia Cracks Down on Illegal Firearms Possession and Drug Distribution

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Newly returned indictments in the Southern District of Georgia highlight felony charges for illegal firearms possession and drug distribution. Additional defendants have been sentenced to federal prison or await further proceedings after pleading guilty to federal gun charges.

Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, emphasized the collaborative effort with law enforcement partners to remove firearms from those who cannot legally possess them, especially individuals with prior felonies, as a crucial step in reducing gun violence in communities.

These cases are prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a joint initiative with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies like the ATF and the FBI aimed at reducing violent crime, particularly by targeting convicted felons who possess guns unlawfully.

The recent indictments include:

  • Daveon Daniels, 25, of Grovetown, Ga., charged with Illegal Possession of a Machinegun and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Matthew Lacey, 26, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Justin Anthony Brown, 32, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Jacerio Maurice Famble, 35, and Aaron Jamonta Bennett, 32, both of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Psilocyn and Marijuana, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Psilocyn and Marijuana. Famble faces additional charges of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Defendants recently adjudicated on federal firearms charges include:

  • Jonathan Duncan, 38, of Savannah, sentenced to 64 months in prison for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
  • Keith Ponsell, 34, of Jesup, Ga., sentenced to 24 months in prison for Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.
  • William Zaccaeus Hightower, 24, of Blackshear, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana, and Possession of a Machinegun.
  • Christopher David Baskett, 46, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

All indicted defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The cases are prosecuted by the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.