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Press Release

Ringleader of crew that broke into gun stores and stole 340 guns sentenced to ten years in prison

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

ATLANTA - Devonnaire Coffey has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison. Coffey, often assisted by others he recruited, broke into 14 gun stores in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and stole 340 guns. Coffey then sold the stolen firearms out of motel rooms to willing buyers.


“Coffey endangered the public by stealing firearms and selling them to whoever had the money to buy them,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “His return to gun stores he had already broken into shows a complete lack of fear and, importantly, that his desire for personal gain outweighed any concerns he may have had for the safety of citizens both in this community and elsewhere.”


“ATF’s central objective is ensuring the safety of our communities. In order to accomplish this mission, ATF will aggressively and acutely target individuals who seek to diminish the general welfare of our citizens through violence, narcotics sales and firearms trafficking. Criminals must understand there are serious repercussions for illegally obtaining, possessing and trafficking firearms,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt, Atlanta Field Division.


According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Coffey broke into 14 stores that sold firearms in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and stole 340 guns. He also attempted to break into six other stores. Coffey and others then sold those stolen guns in various communities. The defendant planned these burglaries, recruited others to help him, and then sold the stolen guns from a motel room after the thefts. He used various methods of entry to include throwing rocks through windows and welding torches to burn through locks on doors.


Coffey burglarized some dealerships multiple times including one location in Elberton twice, one in Canton twice, and one in McDonough twice and attempted a third burglary at the same two dealerships in Canton and McDonough, but ultimately was unsuccessful.


Firearms stolen by Coffey have been discovered by law enforcement as far away as Chicago and Washington, D.C. Not all of them have been recovered. Firearms stolen by the defendant ended up in the hands of convicted felons, have been used in shootings, and carried by drug dealers.


Devonnaire Coffey, 26, of Augusta, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to steal firearms from licensed gun dealers, theft of firearms from licensed gun dealers, and possession and sale of stolen firearms after he pleaded guilty on May 18, 2017. He was sentenced to ten years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $51,128.89.


This case was being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Henry County, Georgia Police Department, Rocky Mount, North Carolina Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina Police Department, Holly Springs, Georgia Police Department, Rock Hill, South Carolina Police Department, and the ATF Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Unit. RAGE is a joint gang/violent crime task force with members from ATF, North Augusta Department of Public Safety, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Aiken Department of Public Safety, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.


Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Keen and Stephanie E. Gabay-Smith prosecuted the case.


For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated August 31, 2017

Firearms Offenses