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Press Release

Guilty Pleas in Separate Armed Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearms Cases

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

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Two men pleaded guilty to federal charges in separate Project Safe Neighborhoods cases in the Columbus region this week, one involving armed methamphetamine trafficking and the other illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Jason Selph, 42, of Georgetown, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of methamphetamine on Sept. 5. Selph faces a minimum of five years up to a maximum of 40 years in prison to be followed by at least four years of supervised release and a $5,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024.

Corneilous Hixson, 27, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Sept. 5. Hixon faces a maximum of 15 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

U.S. District Judge Clay Land is presiding over these cases. The defendants are not eligible for parole.

“These cases exemplify the ongoing collaborative effort in the Columbus region to remove guns from the hands of criminals and convicted felons and hold them accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I applaud the determined efforts by law enforcement to make our communities safer.”

According to court documents in the Selph case, DEA, FBI and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation into the armed distribution of methamphetamine in West Georgia. A confidential source made multiple purchases of methamphetamine from Selph beginning in Dec. 2021 until March 2022 at locations in Quitman County, Georgia, including at the defendant’s home in Georgetown, Georgia. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Selph’s home on March 23, 2022, recovering two bags containing approximately 166 grams of methamphetamine, a revolver and a rifle.           

According to court documents in the Hixson case, the defendant was pulled over for a traffic violation on Aug. 25, 2022, and officers smelled burnt marijuana, prompting a search of his car. Officers found a firearm under Hixson’s front passenger seat and a straw with cocaine residue. Hixson ran away from the scene but was apprehended after a brief pursuit and arrested. Hixson has separate felony convictions in Muscogee County, Georgia, Superior Court for 1st degree burglary, influencing a witness, 2nd degree criminal damage to property and felon in possession of a firearm. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

These cases are 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 Selph case was investigated by DEA, FBI and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

The Hixson case was investigated by ATF and Columbus Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting these cases for the Government.

Updated September 6, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking