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Press Release

Columbus Man Pleads Guilty To Break-In And Theft Of Firearms From Columbus Gun Dealer

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

COLUMBUS: Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Devante Patterson, age 24, of Columbus, Georgia, entered a guilty plea to the offense of Theft of Firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee before Chief United States District Judge Clay Land in Columbus on August 21, 2018.  

At his plea hearing, Mr. Patterson admitted that during the early morning hours of November 24, 2017, he entered the premises of Shooters of Columbus, a Federal Firearms Licensee, to steal guns.  After several attempts, Mr. Patterson was successful in cutting through a locked roll up door and smashing a glass door to enter the store.  Once inside, Mr. Patterson stole six pistols and three rifles, including two assault weapons.   Mr. Patterson was later encountered by officers at another firearms business, and officers discovered evidence linking him to the first break-in and theft.  Ultimately, officers were able to recover eight of the nine stolen firearms. 

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.

The Columbus Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael T. Solis is prosecuting 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 23, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods