Jury Convicts Gang Member on All Counts in Project Safe Neighborhoods Case
VALDOSTA, Ga. – A Southwest Georgia resident and gang member with an extensive criminal history was found guilty on all counts by a federal jury following a four-day trial in Valdosta federal court.
Quinton Jarod Simmons, 30, of Adel, Georgia, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking offense on Thursday, Feb. 10, following a trial that began on Monday, Feb. 7, before U.S. District Judge Louis Sands. Simmons faces a maximum term of life imprisonment. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
“A gang member with a lengthy criminal history, Simmons must now pay the price for continually breaking the law and harming the community,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work closely with local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as our community partners, to make Middle Georgia a safer place.”
“With twelve prior convictions, Simmons was a continuous threat to the safety of the citizens in our community,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI is proud to work with our partners in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program to help convict repeat offenders at the federal level, where they face steeper penalties and no opportunity for parole.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Simmons, a member of the Crips street gang, fled Remerton Police Department Officers who were attempting to conduct a traffic stop for a traffic violation on June 15, 2018. Simmons ran through a red light during the pursuit and crashed his vehicle into a tree on Georgia Avenue in Valdosta. Simmons attempted to escape his car, but responding officers took him into custody. Simmons was in possession of a Glock 22 firearm that had been reported stolen by an Adel resident in April 2018, as well as two clear bags of pink and blue pills that tested positive for methamphetamine. Simmons has a lengthy criminal history, with 12 prior convictions, including burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, fleeing a police officer and theft by taking.
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, GBI, Remerton Police Department, Valdosta State University Police Department, Valdosta Police Department, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Valdosta-Lowndes Regional Crime Laboratory and Georgia State Patrol.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sonja Profit and Mike Morrison prosecuted the case.