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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Georgia
David Estes, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Jury Convicts Felon of Illegally Carrying Firearm

Defendant Faces Sentence of Up to 10 Years in Prison

AUGUSTA, GA: A U.S. District Court jury convicted a Richmond County man of illegally carrying a gun after previously being convicted of a felony.

Christopher Fitzgerald Jones, 35, of Augusta, was found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Jones’ conviction subjects him to a statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison, without parole.

“Convicted felons perpetuate violent crime in our communities by illegally carrying guns,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to remove these criminals from our streets.”

As presented at trial, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigators were planning to arrest Jones in October 2021 on a felony warrant when he drove away from a home under surveillance. As the investigators followed his vehicle, Jones abruptly stopped his car and stepped out, facing the police vehicle. As he was taken into custody, the investigators found a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic pistol in Jones’ back pocket.

From the beginning of the trial, both sides agreed that Jones knew, as a previously convicted felon, that it was illegal for him to carry a firearm. Jones has a violent criminal history, including convictions in state court for domestic violence and illegal gun possession.

Sentencing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall will be scheduled following completion of a pre-sentence investigation by U.S. Probation Services.

“Today’s announcement is a perfect answer to one of our most important ‘whys’ – why we chose to protect and serve the public. Illegal firearm possession in our communities is dangerous and damaging to everyone involved in the criminal activity,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “ATF will remain in lockstep with our local, state and federal partners in our continuing effort to combat violent crime and maintain public safety.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry W. Syms Jr. and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Spitulnik.

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