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Press Release

Armed career criminal sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Savannah man has long record with multiple firearms-related offenses

SAVANNAH, Ga:  A Savannah man with an extensive criminal history has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison for illegal gun possession.

Frenchy Gamil Hilliard, 32, was sentenced to 188 months in prison by United States District Judge R. Stan Baker after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. After completion of his sentence, Hilliard also will serve five years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

According to information provided in court filings and in open court, a detective from the Savannah Police Department Special Investigations Unit saw Hilliard, a known convicted felon and convicted drug dealer, with a handgun with an extended magazine in June 2018. The detective saw Hilliard place the gun in his pocket, get into a vehicle and drive away when officers ordered him out of the car. After crashing the vehicle, Hilliard attempted to flee on foot and was captured.

Officers searching the area found the pistol, a black Glock 43 .40 caliber with an extended magazine and one of its serial numbers obliterated. The investigation determined the pistol had been stolen, and a photograph found on Hilliard’s phone showed him brandishing the weapon more than a year before the arrest. Tests also confirmed Hilliard’s DNA was on the stolen pistol and magazine.   

Hilliard, determined by the court to be an Armed Career Criminal, has an extensive criminal history dating back more than 15 years, including:

  • Seven prior felony convictions;
  • Eight prior misdemeanor convictions;
  • Nearly 20 violations of court orders and state probation; and,
  • Two previous state convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm.


In addition, Hilliard was on probation for state charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm at the time of his arrest.

“The Armed Career Criminal Act, which carries a sentence of at least 15 years of incarceration, was designed specifically for unrepentant criminals like Hilliard,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “This sentence removes a menace from our community.”

“The defendant had no business carrying a firearm, given his previous criminal conduct,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “This case made the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood a safer place.”

This case was investigated by the ATF and the Savannah Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States as a Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative by Assistant United States Attorney E. Greg Gilluly Jr.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer (Contractor): 912-652-4422

Updated May 13, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 45-19