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Press Release

Columbus Felon Sentenced To More Than Eight Years In Prison For Possession Of A Firearm Under Project Safe Neighborhoods

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

COLUMBUS: United States Attorney Charles E. Peeler announces that Watkins Brown, age 25, of Columbus, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 103 months in prison for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Clay D. Land on August 21, 2018.

Mr. Brown was found guilty following a jury trial June 13-14, 2018.  Evidence presented at the trial showed that on September 5, 2017, officers with the Columbus Police Department and the Department of Community Supervision were attempting to serve probation violation warrants on Mr. Brown when he fled.  After a short chase, Mr. Brown was apprehended, and a loaded.380 handgun was found adjacent to his leg.  Mr. Brown had previously been convicted of Robbery by Snatching, Sale of Marijuana, and Burglary, and he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

“My office will vigorously seek to prosecute felons with firearms,” said United States Attorney Charles E. Peeler.  “I commend the Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision and the FBI for their work in this case.”

This case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Melvin E. Hyde, Jr. prosecuted the case for the United States.

Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated August 28, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods