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Press Release

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years for Unlawfully Possessing Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

VALDOSTA, Ga. – A Valdosta resident, who is an armed career criminal, was sentenced to serve more than 15 years in prison after state and federal agents arrested him in possession of two loaded firearms during a county-wide operation.

Frankie Shearry, Jr., 43, of Valdosta, Georgia, was sentenced as an armed career criminal to serve 188 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands after he previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.

“It is unwise for a convicted felon to unlawfully own a gun, with armed career criminals facing even lengthier federal sentences for possessing firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are helping us hold repeat and violent offenders accountable for their continued criminal activities.”

“This sentence makes it very clear that criminals who repeatedly break the law and continue to possess illegal firearms, will be held accountable with lengthy prison terms,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Our partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies make these arrests possible, ultimately making our communities safer.”

“This is another great example of the agencies working together to take another armed career criminal off the streets,” said Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

According to court documents, federal and state law enforcement began a county-wide operation focused on probationers requiring home checks due to their criminal history or current status as probationers. Officers had information that Shearry, a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history, was allegedly distributing narcotics from his place of work as a barber. Agents found two firearms inside Shearry’s bedroom that Shearry admitted belonged to him: a loaded semi-automatic pistol located near the top of his bed and another loaded semi-automatic pistol under his mattress. Shearry also admitted that he knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to his criminal history, which includes four prior convictions in Lowndes County Superior Court for various drug distribution charges.

The case was investigated by FBI and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen prosecuted the case.

Updated March 4, 2022

Firearms Offenses