For Immediate Release
Five Men Indicted on Federal Charges for Illegal Firearms Possession
Most Defendants Face Up to 10 Years in Federal Prison
SAVANNAH, GA: Five defendants are among those facing federal charges including illegal possession of firearms after separate indictments by a grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia, while recent actions in U.S. District Court include guilty pleas and criminal sentences related to illegal gun possession.
The indicted cases are being investigated as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods in collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI, to reduce violent crime with measures that include targeting convicted felons who illegally carry guns.
“Individuals who are convicted of felonies are prohibited from possessing guns,” said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect the safety of our communities by identifying and removing these repeat offenders.”
In the past four years, more than 820 defendants have been federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after conviction for a previous felony. That charge carries a statutory penalty of up to 15 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.
Defendants named in federal indictments from the April 2023 term of the U.S. District Court grand jury include:
- Wesley Rosenberg, 24, of Ludowici, Ga., charged with Engaging in the Firearms Business Without a License, and two counts of Transfer of a Firearm in Violation of the National Firearms Act. The indictments allege Rosenberg unlawfully imported and sold firearm silencers.
- Tyrell Smith, 32, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
- Herman Lamont Dessasure, 30, of Statesboro, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
- Dustin Shane Webster, 30, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and,
- Joquan K. Clark, 25, of Waynesboro, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Additional defendants recently have been adjudicated on federal charges that include illegal firearms possession:
- Maurice Brown, 21, of Savannah, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. In July 2022, Brown sped away from an attempted traffic stop in Savannah by a Georgia State Patrol trooper and later ran from the vehicle. Savannah Police officers found him hiding in a nearby home, and found a pistol under the driver’s seat of the vehicle Brown was driving. Brown was on probation for state charges at the time of his arrest.
- Jeffrey J. Haynes, 30, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers arrested Haynes during a June 2021 traffic stop after finding a pistol in his waistband.
Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Savannah Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia State Patrol.
The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she falls into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon; illegal alien; or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others. Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, also is a federal offense.
For more information from the ATF on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/atfw-form-4473