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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Multi-Convicted Felon Sentenced For Possession Of A Firearm

              Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that on March 29, 2018, Senior United States District Court Judge W. Louis Sands sentenced Justin Norris, age 30, of Albany, GA, to 115 months imprisonment for the offense of possession of a firearm by convicted felon.  Mr. Norris previously plead guilty to this charge and admitted the following facts were true:

              On September 28, 2016, agents with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office used a previously reliable confidential informant (CI) to conduct a transaction with Mr. Norris.  Mr. Norris had informed the CI that he had a Taurus Judge handgun for sale.  Agents arranged for the CI to make a series of audio-recorded phone calls to Mr. Norris to arrange the details of the transaction.  Mr. Norris agreed to sell the CI a gram of methamphetamine, the firearm and 100 rounds of ammunition for $410.  During these conversations, Mr. Norris advised the CI that “Bubba” had stolen the ammunition and that he had bought it from Bubba for 1 gram of meth.           

              During the last recorded call before the two met at a gas station, Mr. Norris advised that he had just thrown the meth out the window after seeing a police officer in the vicinity.  The two met at a gas station on Philema Road in Lee County, Georgia.  The CI was equipped with an audio/video recording device which captured the meeting.  During the meeting, the CI provided Mr. Norris the money and Mr. Norris provided to the CI the gun and ammo.  The CI left the area and returned to meet with agents, who obtained the gun and ammo from him.  A GCIC check of the gun’s serial number revealed it had been reported stolen in Dougherty County on 9/25/2016.

              Prior to this latest offense, Mr. Norris was convicted and sentenced in these previous felony cases:

  1. Worth County Superior Court Case Number 2014 CR128—Theft by Taking (Motor Vehicle) –May 28, 2015;
  2. Worth County Superior Court Case Number 2014CR17—Burglary and Theft By Taking (Motor Vehicle)—January 15, 2014; and
  3. Dougherty County Superior Court Case number 2011R169—Burglary—June 28, 2012.
  4. Worth County Superior Court Case Number 09CR06—Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute on January 14, 2009-- sentenced pursuant to the Georgia First Offender’s Act.

              This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

              The case was investigated by the ATF, Columbus Division and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Leah E. McEwen prosecuted the case for the United States.

              Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated April 2, 2018