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Press Release

South Georgian Sentenced for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

ALBANY, Ga. –A Coffee County, Georgia, resident with a violent criminal past was sentenced to prison for illegally possessing a firearm during a car chase that ended in a police department parking lot.

Bryan Everal Pittman, 33, of Fargo, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 110 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on Jan. 18, after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Oct. 3, 2023. Pittman is not eligible for parole.

“Convicted felons with violent criminal histories caught illegally possessing a firearm will face federal consequences for breaking the law,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “We are working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to identify cases involving repeat and violent offenders to help hold them accountable for their crimes and get them off the streets.”

“Pittman, with a lengthy criminal history, once again terrorized innocent victims during his most recent crime. It is past time that he be sent to federal prison with a lengthy sentence for his actions,” said Rich Bilson, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Albany office. “The FBI and our state and local partners will continue to remove repeat violent offenders from our streets to keep our communities safe.”

According to court documents and other evidence, Hahira Police Department police officers observed a white van and another car quickly enter the police department’s parking lot on May 26, 2022. Officers approached the white van; there were several people inside the van. One of the occupants told officers that the other vehicle was chasing them and “driving crazy” including going through stop signs; the individual also stated that someone inside the vehicle pointed a gun at them, and they drove to the police department for help. A woman in the van told officers that Pittman—who was in the other vehicle—had threatened her with a gun, and she was trying to get away from him.

Pittman and two other people were in the second vehicle that entered the police department parking lot. An officer asked them if anyone had a gun. Pittman, who was seated in the back, said he did not. The officer noticed a bulge in the shape of a small handgun in the pocket of the back of the driver’s seat, along with a methamphetamine pipe.  Pittman and the other two occupants got out of the car, and officers found a .380 semi-automatic pistol with a chambered round of ammunition and five rounds in the magazine. Another round was located on the floorboard next to the rear driver’s side door. The firearm belonged to Pittman. Pittman has a lengthy violent criminal history, including past state convictions for aggravated assault, terroristic threats, battery and simple assault. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

These cases were prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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 by bringing together a broad spectrum of stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities; supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place; setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities; and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by FBI and the Hahira Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Couch prosecuted the case for the Government.

Updated January 19, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime