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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Seven men indicted for illegal firearms possession, drugs

Additional defendants sentenced or await court dates in Southern District

SAVANNAH, GA:  Seven defendants face federal charges including drug trafficking and illegal possession firearms after separate indictments by a grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia, while recent actions in U.S. District Court include guilty pleas and criminal sentences. 

The indicted cases are being investigated as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods in collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI, in an ongoing effort to reduce violent crime by targeting those who illegally possess firearms.

“Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms,” said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “We will continue to relentlessly pursue those whose illegal possession of guns threatens the safety of our community.” 

In the past three years, nearly 700 defendants have been federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after conviction for a previous felony. That charge carries a statutory penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

Defendants named in federal indictments from the October 2021 term of the U.S. District Court grand jury include:

  • Dwight Eady, 39, of Milan, Ga., charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon;
  • Darren Nathaniel Mathis, 35, of Savannah, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Tommy Greene, 34, of Savannah, Possession with Intent to Distribute Eutylone (Bath Salts) and Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
  • Derek Hayes, 50, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of Cocaine;
  • Rasheen Dyshawn Stephens, 30, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; 
  • Jonathan R. White, 24, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and,
  • Kenya Leon Parker, 33, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon 

 

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Additional defendants recently have been adjudicated on federal charges that include illegal firearms possession:

  • Bradley Harrison, 25, of Brunswick, Ga., was sentenced to 84 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Harrison was one of eight defendants indicted in Operation Krack Down II, which targeted a drug trafficking conspiracy in the Brunswick area.
  • Khari Courtney Osborne, 27, of Hephzibah, was sentenced to 38 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. A member of the Gangster Disciples criminal street gang, Osborne was on state probation after serving time in prison for armed robbery when Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies found him in possession of a loaded pistol during a February 2020 traffic stop.
  • Julian Theophilus Moffett, 39, of Augusta, was sentenced to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Moffett is a member of the Gangsta Killa Bloods criminal street gang and has a criminal history that includes convictions for drug trafficking and gun violence. He was arrested in March 2020 when Richmond County sheriff’s deputies found a pistol in his vehicle during a traffic stop. 
  • Terrence Latroy Brown, 31, of North Charleston, S.C., was sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Drug User. Brown admitted that on April 29, 2020, he was an illegal user of methamphetamine and Eutylone (bath salts) when Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies during a traffic stop found an assault-style rifle and multiple high-capacity magazines in his vehicle.
  • Curtavious Bonner, 30, of Thomson, Ga., was sentenced to 48 months in prison and ordered to serve three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Bonner was arrested in July 2019 when Thomson Police officers checking on suspicious activity outside a residence found two pistols in Bonner’s vehicle.
  • Malcolm Robinson Brown, 39, of Augusta, was sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Brown was arrested when Richmond County sheriff’s deputies in May 2020 found him in possession of a pistol and ammunition while arresting him at his home on an outstanding warrant on state charges.   
  • Dequan Beniman, 27, of Savannah, was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Beniman was arrested in January 2020 when Savannah Police officers found Beniman with two loaded pistols in his pockets, along with a bag containing additional ammunition.
  • Willie Lee Batten, 59, of Jacksonville, Ga., was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Batten was charged in November 2020 as part of Operation Rat Trap II, targeting a drug trafficking conspiracy in south Georgia. With the exception of one defendant who is awaiting trial, all remaining defendants identified in Operation Rat Trap II have been sentenced or await sentencing after pleading guilty. 
  • Chance Derrell Christian, 42, of Kingstree, S.C., was sentenced to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and fined $5,500 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Christian was arrested in May 2020 during a traffic stop by the Georgia State Patrol when troopers found a pistol in his vehicle.    
  • Marcus Rashad Allen, 33, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers found him in possession of a pistol in August 2020 after he ran from officers attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.
  • Jeffrey Brian Voorhees, 37, of Douglas, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Voorhees was charged along with 47 co-defendants in Operation Sandy Bottom, targeting a gang-related drug trafficking conspiracy in the Coffee County area. 
  • David Bryson Murphy, 20, of Thomson, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. McDuffie County sheriff’s deputies charged Murphy in April after finding him carrying a pistol during a traffic stop.
  • Damario Antron Williams, 36, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Williams was wanted on outstanding state warrants for aggravated assault and firearms offenses when Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies investigating a report of a disturbance at an Augusta residence in January found Williams in the back yard with a loaded pistol in his waistband.  
  • Charles Edward Bennett, 31, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to an Information charging him with Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Drug User. Bennett was charged in January 2019 after Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies found him in possession of a pistol.

These cases also are being investigated under the Prosecutor to Prosecutor Program (P3), in which federal and state prosecutors collaborate to determine the most appropriate venue for adjudication of alleged crimes.

Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia State Patrol, the Savannah Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Thomson Police Department, the Brunswick Police Department, and the Glynn County Police Department.

The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including Henry W. Syms Jr., Patricia G. Rhodes, Tania D. Groover, Joshua S. Bearden, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard.

Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she falls into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon; illegal alien; or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others. Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, also is a federal offense. 

For more information on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/atf-form-4473.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422
Press Release Number: 
154-21
Updated October 12, 2021