The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia began a new initiative with the District Attorneys' Offices, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and other local agencies to combat gun violence. This important initiative is entitled "Project CEASEFIRE."
This project involves a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to federally prosecute felons that possess firearms, as well as pursue other federal gun violations. This effort is taking place without the allocation of additional resources from the Department of Justice, but rather it is being undertaken with personnel already in place.
Biweekly, prosecutors with the United States Attorney's Office meet with a designated liaison from the Chatham County District Attorney's Office, Savannah Police Department, and ATF to review recent cases to determine which firearms cases can be adopted and prosecuted federally. Cases brought by other local agencies are regularly evaluated to determine the appropriateness of federal prosecution.
This process assists in ensuring that the most dangerous violators are subjected to very stiff federal sentencing provisions.
- Anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm can be sentenced up to ten years in prison.
- Those felons with three qualifying felony convictions can be sentenced from a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
- Additionally, if a firearm is used during a drug trafficking crime or a federal crime of violence, the defendant can face an additional five (5) years in prison consecutive to whatever other sentence he receives.
Federal sentencing guidelines do not allow parole.