Skip to main content
Press Release

Cook County Man Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Guns After Store Employee Reports Firearms to Deputies

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

VALDOSTA, Ga. – A Cook County, Georgia, resident with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to prison this week for unlawfully possessing firearms after a local gun shop employee turned over the defendant’s guns to deputies.

William Earl Alley, 55, of Adel, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on March 2, after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.

“I want to thank the gun store employee for responsibly contacting law enforcement when approached by a convicted felon in possession of firearms and doing this in a manner that was safe for all involved,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is standing alongside our law enforcement and community partners to do everything within our power to decrease violent crime in our region through the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods program. Removing guns from the hands of repeat felons and holding them accountable for their crimes is one piece of a larger strategy to reduce crime.”

According to court documents, on June 21, 2019, a local gun shop employee turned over three firearms to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office—a revolver, a semi-automatic rifle and a bolt action rifle—after Alley, a convicted felon, brought them to the gun shop for repair and cleaning. Cook County deputies confirmed that Alley was a convicted felon, with multiple prior state felonies, including habitual violator, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, theft by deception, terroristic threats and possession of controlled substances. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess firearms.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.

The case was investigated by FBI and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Criminal Chief Michael Solis prosecuted the case.

Updated March 2, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses