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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 26, 2020

Illegal possession of ammunition results in maximum federal prison sentence for previously convicted felon

Defendant is a member of violent criminal street gang

BRUNSWICK, GA:  A gang member and convicted felon will spend the next decade in federal prison after sentencing in U.S. District Court.

Wilbert Lee Stephens Jr., a/k/a “Lil Bill,” a/k/a “Wild Bill,” 28, of Morrow, Ga., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 120 months in prison – the maximum for the offense, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Stephens pled guilty to an Information charging him with Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. After completion of his incarceration, Stephens will be required to serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

“As a convicted felon with a long history of violent offenses, Wilbert Stephens was prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “His history of sociopathic behavior amply demonstrates that he shouldn’t be anywhere near firearms – or free society.”

According to court documents and testimony, Stephens was pulled over for speeding in excess of 100 mph by a Georgia State Patrol trooper who smelled the odor of marijuana in the vehicle. A subsequent search discovered nearly a pound of marijuana, an Ak-47 rifle on the back seat, and ammunition in Stephens’ pocket.

Stephens, who was on state probation, was arrested and later indicted related to a criminal drug trafficking conspiracy. During the investigation he was determined to be a member of the Gangster Disciples criminal street gang.

“Stephens had a chance to turn his life around while on probation but instead chose to commit further crimes, proving that he has not learned from his prior convictions,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “He will now go back to prison where he can no longer be a threat to society.”

This investigation took place under the umbrella of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Georgia State Patrol and the Glynn County Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kirkland.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422
Press Release Number: 
82-20
Updated June 26, 2020