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Press Release

Convicted Felons Plead Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearms in Separate Project Safe Neighborhoods Investigations in Albany

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

ALBANY, Ga. – Two Albany residents with criminal pasts are facing up to fifteen years in prison each for illegally possessing firearms in separate Project Safe Neighborhoods investigations.

Marcus Ryan Telfair, 30, and Kentravious Montrell Ware, 36, both pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a firearm before U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner on June 26. Both defendants face a maximum of 15 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencings will be scheduled by the Court. There is no parole in the federal system.

“These convicted felons not only illegally possessed firearms but also threatened citizens with those guns,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Project Safe Neighborhoods helps keep our community safer due to strong partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement in Albany and across the Middle District of Georgia united by our shared goal to reduce violent crime.”

“Mr. Telfair and Mr. Ware both terrorized an entire community," said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka. “Their actions threatened the lives of citizens and law enforcement alike. In the Middle District of Georgia, we will continue our relentless pursuit of dangerous felons who possess firearms, especially those who show no regard for human life. We must hold them accountable."

"Here is another example of the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Albany Police Department working to address the criminal actions of others,” said APD Chief Michael Persley. “These defendants have proven that they are repeat offenders and do not value the life of others. I hope that the victims have received the support they deserve, and this will be another lesson learned that crime doesn’t pay." 

According to documents and statements referenced in court in the Telfair case, Albany Police Department (APD) officers responded to a disorderly conduct call on Oct. 23, 2023, on West Society Avenue. A landscaper working nearby called 911 after he observed Telfair dragging a woman by her hair in the street, who was screaming for help. The landscaper attempted to intervene, but Telfair drew a gun, pointed it at the man and threatened to shoot him if he did not step away. When the police arrived, Telfair ran off and was found hiding underneath a porch. A 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a knife were located in Telfair’s backpack; the gun was stolen out of a truck earlier in the year. In addition, another citizen contacted police on Oct. 14, 2023, after a man matching Telfair’s description flashed a gun at him while stealing items from his truck. APD recovered some of the stolen items from inside the backpack Telfair had in his possession during his arrest. Telfair has several prior criminal convictions in the Superior Court of Dougherty County including robbery, entering auto and interfering with government property. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

According to documents and statements referenced in court in the Ware case, APD officers responded to a disorderly conduct call at a business on Ledo Road in Albany on July 22, 2023. The reporting individual stated that Ware and another customer were arguing in the store when Ware pulled out a firearm and pointed it at the man. The interaction was captured on video surveillance. The officers located Ware at the nearby Country Inn and Suites. Ware told officers he was carrying a firearm, and officers located a .380 semiautomatic pistol on his waistband. Ware told officers he got into the argument after the man bumped into him at the store. Ware has prior felony convictions for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in the Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia, and theft by receiving stolen property in the Superior Court of Dekalb County, Georgia. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

Both cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.

The Telfair and Ware cases were investigated by the Albany Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid is prosecuting both cases for the Government.

Updated June 28, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods