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Press Release

Prisoner Caught Hiding Contraband Knives Sentenced to 10+ Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Second Federal Firearms Charge, Violated Supervised Release

ATHENS, Ga. – An Athens resident with a lengthy and violent criminal history was sentenced to serve more than ten years in federal prison for illegally possessing a gun, hiding homemade shanks while in federal detention and violating the terms of his supervised release.

Michael Anthony Randall, 33, of Athens, was sentenced to a total of 129 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Tilman E. “Tripp” Self III on Sept. 7.: Randall was sentenced to serve 105 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Case No. 3:22-cr-00023; he was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison concurrent after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of contraband while in jail in Case No. 3:22-cr-28; and he was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison consecutive for violating his supervised release for a total of 129 months imprisonment. Randall is not eligible for parole.

“The penalty is steep for prisoners caught with contraband weapons and violent repeat offenders who illegally possess guns. In this case, Michael Randall violated both and is now held accountable with additional prison time,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, our office will seek federal prosecution against the most dangerous and repeat criminals in our communities.”

“Michael Randall is the definition of a repeat offender,” said Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Macon office. “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep dangerous criminals like Randall off Georgia streets.”

According to court documents, Randall was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Oct. 11, 2022, in the Middle District of Georgia, after he was arrested for illegally possessing a .380 pistol in Athens, on Jan. 12, 2021. Randall has multiple prior state felony convictions in North Carolina and Georgia, including assault with serious bodily injury and drug convictions. Randall was also previously convicted in the Middle District of Georgia for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

On Nov. 8, 2022, while in custody awaiting his initial appearance in federal court, Butts County Jail officers found a shank—a handmade knife—hidden on Randall’s person. Officers found another shank on Randall on Nov. 10, prior to his federal court appearance. On Dec. 16, Randall was found with another shank inside the Butts County Jail.

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, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Butts County Sheriff’s Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Jarrett prosecuted the case for the Government.

Updated September 11, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods