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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

October 7, 2009

Sally Quillian Yates, Acting United States Attorney

Contact: Patrick Crosby

(404) 581-6016

(404) 581-6160 (fax)

Three-Time Convicted Felon Sentenced To 15 Years For Possession Of Ammunition

GAINESVILLE, GA — WILLIAM THOMAS MASON, 54, of Banks County, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley to serve 15 years in federal prison on a charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of today’s sentencing, “This three-time convicted felon did not take seriously the law’s prohibition against possessing weapons and ammunition. Now he will spend 15 years in federal prison.”

“There’s no legitimate reason for an armed career criminal to possess so much as a single round of ammunition,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Gant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Atlanta Field Division. “Congress saw fit to pass laws dealing with armed career criminals. Through aggressive enforcement of our federal firearms statutes, we can ensure that those with a demonstrated propensity to commit violent acts will never do so again. William Mason will have a long time to think about why he had that ammunition and what he was planning on doing with it.”

MASON was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. MASON was convicted of the charge on June 22, 2009, upon his plea of guilty.

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: MASON, a three-time convicted felon, had been publicly identified by law enforcement as the subject of a Banks County investigation of a shooting incident that ended in a homicide. As part of that investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Banks County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant to search MASON’s home. As a result of that search, agents recovered a homemade firearm and several rounds of ammunition. MASON was charged with felony murder in Banks County on September 28, 2007.

This case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Banks County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Smith prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, Acting United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is