ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

December 17, 2009

Sally Quillian Yates, Acting United States Attonry

Contact: Patrick Crosby

(404) 581-6016

(404) 581-6160 (fax)

Former Assistant Chief of Jefferson Police Department Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm While Being an Illegal Drug User

GAINESVILLE, GA — DENNIS LAMAR THOMAS, 50, of Jefferson, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley to serve one year in federal prison on charges of possession of a firearm while being an illegal drug user.

ATF works to prevent gun violence through effective enforcement of the federal firearms laws, said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Gant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Whether intentionally or recklessly, armed unlawful drug users and addicts pose a threat to public safety. It is good to see justice served today and to know that the defendant’s actions did not otherwise lead to tragic results.

THOMAS was sentenced to one year in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and fined $3,000. THOMAS pleaded guilty to the charge on August 18, 2009.

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On October 6, 2008, THOMAS’ estranged wife was staying at his son’s home, and THOMAS went to his son’s home in violation of a state restraining order relating to contact with his estranged wife. THOMAS attempted to contact his wife which prompted the response of Jackson County sheriff’s Office. Further investigation revealed that THOMAS was in possession of loaded .38 caliber handgun and a crack pipe with drug residue. Subsequent search warrants revealed that THOMAS was in possession of a destructive device (“grenade”), crack cocaine and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, such as another crack pipe, spoons and plates.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Gabay-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 www.justice.gov/usao/gan.