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Press Release

Two Defendants Sentenced In Columbus On PSN Charges, A Third Enters Guilty Plea On PSN Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a Department of Justice initiative reducing violent crime

COLUMBUS – Two defendants involved in separate felony gun cases were sentenced for their crimes this morning, announced Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Devante Patterson, 25, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count of Theft for a Federal Firearms Licensee and was sentenced today to 27 months imprisonment by the Honorable Clay D. Land plus three years supervised release and $3,793 in restitution for stealing nine guns from an area firearms dealer in 2017. Corneilous Hixson, 22, of Columbus, was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Land for one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon for a 2018 shooting in a Columbus neighborhood. There is no parole in the federal system. Another defendant, Dadge William Parrish, 33, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon before Judge Land today. All three separate cases fall under Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime.

Mr. Patterson admitted that in the early hours of November 24, 2017, he broke into Shooters of Columbus, a business possessing a federal firearms license to deal in firearms. Once inside, the defendant stole a total of nine firearms, including pistols and rifles. Later that same day, the defendant was arrested attempting to sell some of the stolen firearms at a Columbus pawn shop.

In April 2018, Mr. Hixson was apprehended by police shortly after it was reported that he had opened fire on a nearby residence. A loaded .380 caliber pistol was removed from his waistband. At the time of his arrest, Hixson had three separate prior felony convictions in the state system for which he was on active probation. 

Mr. Parrish admitted in his signed plea agreement that he was found in possession of a semiautomatic pistol when police pulled him over following a chase in March 2018. Mr. Parrish was convicted in August 2004 on the felony charges of Hijacking by Motor Vehicle and Kidnapping in Treutlen County Superior Court.

“Removing guns from the hands of violent criminals is an essential piece of our effort to reduce violent crime in Columbus and across the Middle District,” said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Our office will remain focused on PSN related cases, with the goal to ultimately make our communities safer. I want to especially thank the Columbus Police Department for their good work in both cases, and protecting the citizens of Columbus from further harm.”

All 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.  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.

Mr. Patterson’s case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Columbus Police Department (CPD) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Solis prosecuted this case for the Government. Mr. Hixson’s case was investigated by CPD and ATF and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals. Mr. Parrish’s case was investigated by Georgia State Patrol and ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Helmick is prosecuting the case for the Government.

Questions concerning this case can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated June 5, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods