DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Georgia

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 8, 2019
Bobby L. Christine
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barry Paschal

Priority target of Savannah law enforcement pleads guilty to felony firearms possession

Federal sentence awaits repeat offender who fled from police

SAVANNAH, GA: A high priority target of the Savannah Police Department has pled guilty to a federal firearms possession charge and now awaits sentencing.

Frenchy Gamil Hilliard, 32, of Savannah, Ga., pled guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal prison system.

According to information provided in court filings and in open court, a detective from the Savannah Police Department Special Investigations Unit saw Hilliard, a known convicted felon and convicted drug dealer, with a handgun with an extended magazine. The detective saw Hilliard place the gun in his pocket, get into a vehicle and drive away when officers ordered him out of the car. After crashing the vehicle, Hilliard attempted to flee on foot and was captured.

Officers searching the area found the pistol, a black Glock 43 .40 caliber with extended magazine with one of its serial numbers obliterated. The investigation determined the pistol had been stolen, and evidence found on Hilliard’s phone showed him photographed brandishing the weapon more than a year before the arrest. Tests also confirmed Hilliard’s DNA was on the stolen pistol and magazine.   

The case was investigated by the Savannah Police Department Special Investigations Unit, the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

“Law-abiding residents of our communities understandably are frustrated when they see armed criminals repeatedly violating the law and returning to their neighborhoods,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Through diligent enforcement of federal statutes that can take these criminals off the street, we are determined to restore safety and security to our communities.”

“ATF considers Savannah Police Department a critical partner in its long-term mission of removing violent criminals from our communities,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Activity like this will not be tolerated in Savannah,” said Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter. “We are committed to removing illegal firearms and those in possession of these weapons from this city.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys E. Greg Gilluly Jr. and Frank Pennington.


Atlanta Field Division