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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced To 8+ Years In Prison For Possessing A Stolen Firearm

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

MACON, Ga. – A convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to federal prison today for possessing a stolen firearm, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

Gary Michael Buck, 39, of Ellaville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 102 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Buck previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm. There is no parole in the federal system.

“It is both illegal and dangerous to possess a stolen firearm,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “This office will continue to work hard to take stolen guns off the streets and out of the hands of convicted felons. I want to thank the Perry Police Department, ATF and FBI for their work in this investigation.”

“I think 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 Chris Hacker, 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.”

On May 1, 2019, a Perry Police Department officer attempted to pull Buck over for a traffic violation on I-75, eventually stopping the vehicle on the exit 135 bridge. Smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from Buck’s car, the officer called for backup and a legal search of the vehicle was conducted. Inside Buck’s car, officers found a marijuana “blunt” in the backseat and a Hi-Point 9mm pistol on the floorboard. Buck admitted multiple times, both in recorded calls from jail and to an FBI agent, that he knew the gun was stolen. Buck has a lengthy criminal history and was most recently convicted in Sumter County (Georgia) Superior Court in February 2017 of felony burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The investigation was conducted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see

The case was investigated by the Perry Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ouzts prosecuted the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Officer (Contractor), U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated April 15, 2024

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods