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Press Release

Convicted Felon Guilty of Illegal Possession of Multiple Guns in First Criminal Jury Trial in the Middle District of Georgia Since Lifting of Jury Trial Moratorium

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

ALBANY, Ga.– A federal jury returned a guilty verdict this afternoon, convicting an Albany man for illegal possession of firearms by a prohibited person in the first criminal jury trial conducted in the Middle District of Georgia since the COVID-19 pandemic jury trial restrictions lifted in May 2021.

“It is significant that a jury trial for a criminal case was successfully and safely accomplished in the Middle District of Georgia as the legal community works to return to pre-COVID, in-person gatherings. I want to commend everyone involved in the trial for helping to ensure that justice was fairly and safely delivered,” said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Eric Tollefson, 63, was wanted by authorities in Virginia in 2018 pursuant to an indictment returned against him in a narcotics case. Law enforcement agents traveled to his Albany home to arrest him on November 2, 2018. Upon entering the residence, agents observed a number of firearms in plain view. Tollefson was in illegal possession of a total of eleven firearms: nine rifles, a pistol and a shotgun. At the time he possessed the 11 guns, Tollefson was a multiple-time convicted felon, to include a previous conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Tollefson faces a maximum ten years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for August 24, 2021. U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner is presiding over the case.

FBI investigated the case with assistance from ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Albany Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 26, 2021