News and Press Releases

Two Men Sentenced on Firearms Charges

November 15, 2012

Convicted Felons Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Sentences for Possessing Firearms

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - George Penn, 36, of Gainesville, Georgia, and Douglas E. Perry, Jr., 35, of Newark, New Jersey were sentenced today by United States District Judge Richard W. Story to serve 11 years and 3 months, and 7 years and 3 months in federal prison respectively on charges that each defendant possessed a firearm after having been previously convicted of multiple felony offenses.

“Felons who arm themselves with handguns that are easily hidden pose a significant danger to the community, and as these cases demonstrate, to law enforcement officers who might encounter them in routine traffic stops,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “In recognition of this danger, federal law imposes significant penalties on dangerous felons who carry firearms. Federal law enforcement will continue to aggressively pursue cases such as these in an effort to ensure that our communities are kept safe from armed and dangerous convicted felons.”

“Experience has shown when felons possess firearms, the propensity for violence to occur increases exponentially,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow. “These criminals will spend a combined total of 18 years of their lives in prison, where they can do no further harm to the public.”

Penn was sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Penn was convicted of these charges on May 21, 2012, upon his plea of guilty.

Perry was sentenced to 7 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Perry was convicted of these charges on May 21, 2012, upon his plea of guilty.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On December 26, 2010, a Gainesville City Police Officer observed Penn driving a car without wearing a seatbelt. The officer also noticed that Penn was driving with the windows down despite the fact that it was cold outside. The officer pulled Penn’s vehicle over for the seatbelt violation. When he approached Penn’s vehicle, he noticed that Penn appeared to be holding something between his legs, but the officer could not see what it was. From speaking with Penn and his observations of him, the officer concluded that Penn had been drinking and that he was possibly driving while under the influence of alcohol. The officer ordered Penn to get out of the car. When Penn did so, the officer observed a handgun lying on the floorboard by the seat where Penn had been sitting. At the time, Penn had previously been convicted of aggravated assault four different times, aggravated battery twice, robbery by intimidation, terroristic threats, and possession of cocaine.

On June 16, 2011, Banks and Lowndes County deputy sheriffs observed Perry’s vehicle cross the median line as the vehicle traveled north on Interstate 85 near Commerce, Georgia. The deputies stopped the car to determine if the driver was drowsy or impaired. They determined that Perry was the sole occupant of the vehicle and asked to see his driver’s license. As Perry retrieved his license from a compartment in the console next to him, the deputy sheriffs observed a bag of what they suspected to be marijuana in the console. When the deputies asked Perry for consent to a search his car, he agreed. During the search, the deputies found a firearm in the glove compartment and approximately four ounces of marijuana in the rear of the car. At the time Perry had previously been convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon, contempt of court, resisting arrest, distribution of cocaine near a school on two occasions, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.     

These cases were investigated by Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with the assistance of the City of Gainesville Police Department, the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney William L. McKinnon, Jr. prosecuted both cases.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is




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