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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Georgia
For Immediate Release
Peter D. Leary, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-mdga
Friday, September 29, 2023

SW Georgian Sentenced in Americus Walmart Stolen Gun Case

ALBANY, Ga. – An Americus, Georgia resident prohibited from having a firearm because of past criminal convictions was sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison for illegally possessing a gun when he was arrested for stealing rifles from the local Walmart; he sold the guns in the community for cash and drugs.

Brandon Michael Hatfield, 31, was sentenced to serve 85 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on Sept. 28 after he previously pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on May 25. Hatfield is not eligible for parole.

“Illegal firearms trafficking at any level is directly contributing to violence on our streets by supplying dangerous people with weapons,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Law enforcement is working to reduce the number of firearms in the hands of criminals in an effort to improve the safety in Americus and within every community across the Middle District of Georgia.”

“The unlawful acquisition and selling of firearms are serious crimes that feed and intensify the violence that plagues so many communities here and abroad," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka. "This investigation illustrates the collective resolve of ATF and our law enforcement partners working together to make a safer community.”

According to court documents, Hatfield attempted to steal a Rossi, 22LR caliber rifle from the Walmart in Americus, Georgia, on Nov. 18, 2022, but was stopped by Walmart employees before he could exit the store with the weapon. An investigation by Walmart’s security team revealed that Hatfield stole a total of five rifles on five different occasions from the store between Nov. 1 and Nov. 16. Hatfield admitted that he stole the firearms and traded them for money and drugs.

Hatfield has been convicted of several felonies, including dealing methamphetamine, escape and residential entry in Decatur County, Indiana, Superior Court. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Americus Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid is prosecuting the case for the Government.

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