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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Decatur men convicted for Chamblee carjacking and Newnan firearms thefts

ATLANTA – Antonio McCrary has been sentenced for a carjacking at a Chamblee, Georgia residence and an unrelated string of firearm thefts in Newnan, Georgia.   Additionally, Cortez Butler, who admitted to committing the carjacking with Butler, was sentenced in September 2020.

“These two men brazenly stole a car from a family’s driveway and fired a gun towards the victim as they sped away,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “Later, McCrary boldly continued his criminal behavior by breaking into a dozen cars and stealing multiple firearms before leading law enforcement on a dangerous high-speed chase on an interstate. Thankfully no lives were lost during McCrary’s or Butler’s crimes as a result of the coordinated efforts of federal and local law enforcement.” 

“The sentencing of McCrary and Cortez to substantial prison time illustrates the FBI’s commitment to working with its law enforcement partners to protect our citizens against such violent offenders,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Philip Wislar. “This sentencing sends a message to those contemplating such brazen and selfish criminal acts that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The public is now safer with McCrary and Cortez behind bars.”

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is committed to investigating crimes committed against Internal Revenue Service employees,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  “We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the other law enforcement agencies involved for their partnership and investigative efforts.”

“We appreciate the collaborative efforts by all agencies in resolving this case and bringing closure to the victims and others involved during this investigation,” said Chief Brent Blankenship, Newnan Police Department.

According to U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: In March 2018, the victim was in the kitchen of his home in Chamblee when he heard his family’s car unlock in the garage and saw the car’s lights come on.  The victim looked into the garage and saw a man getting into the car, and then ran outside as someone backed the car out of the garage. The victim jumped on the hood of the car but fell off when he heard a gunshot. 

Shortly after the carjacking, video footage near a house in Decatur, Georgia showed Butler and McCrary arriving and exiting the stolen car.  Butler and McCrary later confessed to the carjacking.  Four days later, the stolen car was recovered from a third party during a traffic stop in Atlanta.

In January 2020, McCrary and another man drove around Newnan, Georgia in a different stolen vehicle.  They broke into more than a dozen cars during a three-hour crime spree, and stole cash, electronics, and four firearms.  Several of the break-ins were caught on surveillance cameras, allowing Newnan Police to place a “be on the lookout” or “BOLO” for the stolen car. 

That afternoon, a Coweta County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the car and attempted a traffic stop.  McCrary, who was driving, led officers on a high-speed chase driving over 130 miles per hour on I-85 and recklessly cut in and out of traffic.  McCrary eventually exited the highway, ran multiple red lights and stop signs, and caused another car to run off the road and hit a tree.  The chase finally ended when McCrary lost control of the car, ran off the road, and landed sideways in a ditch.  McCrary and his accomplice were taken to the hospital, and once cleared, booked on state charges. Newnan Police recovered all of the items stolen earlier that day, including the four firearms.  Officers recovered five additional guns, most of which were also recently reported stolen. 

McCrary was charged in a federal indictment with the March 2018 carjacking, discharging a firearm during the carjacking, the January 2020 theft of firearms, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. McCrary had previously pled guilty in a state case to a home burglary in Cumming, Georgia, during which he and others stole jewelry, electronics, and a luxury automobile.  

Antonio McCrary, 24, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg to 13 years, six months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  McCrary pleaded guilty to the federal crimes of theft of firearms and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.  The court also considered the Chamblee carjacking in imposing the sentence.

Cortez Butler, 23, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced on September 9, 2020 to ten years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  He pled guilty to the federal offense of discharging a firearm during the March 2018 carjacking. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annalise K. Peters and Matthew Carrico prosecuted the case.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chamblee Police Department, and the Newnan Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime, the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated April 12, 2022