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Press Release

Seven newly indicted on federal charges for crimes including drugs and illegal firearms possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Most defendants face up to 10 years in federal prison

SAVANNAH, GA: Seven defendants are among those facing federal charges including illegal possession of 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 related to illegal gun possession. 

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, to reduce violent crime with measures that include targeting convicted felons who illegally carry guns.

“As we continue the fight against violent crime in the Southern District, we commend our law enforcement partners for their efforts in getting guns out of the hands of those previously convicted of felonies,” said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Keeping our communities safe remains our top priority.”   

In the past four years, more than 800 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. Recent federal legislation increases the maximum penalty for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon to 15 years, up from 10, for those found in possession after June 25, 2022.

Defendants named in federal indictments from the December 2022 term of the U.S. District Court grand jury include:

  • Olajuwon Raheem Williams, 25, of Augusta, charged with Kidnapping; Use of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Zion Howard, 22, of Augusta, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and an amount of Cocaine; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Dequan Dante Payne, 31, of Augusta, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Marijuana; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Demmerio Swint, 28, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Darvin Preston Morris, 38, of Townsend, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;  
  • Antonio D’Avaris Bowens, 34, of Gray, Ga., charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, a charge related to a prior conviction for domestic violence; and,
  • Brandon McCall Williams, 31, of Savannah, charged with Receipt of a Firearm by a Person Under Indictment.

 

Indictments naming additional defendants recently were unsealed following initial court appearances:

  • Derrick Drurell Long, 32, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Horatio Trimane Bynes, 65, of Augusta, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Marijuana; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Kevon Quantae Davis, 23, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Reco Casey, a/k/a “Rico,” 33, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon;
  • Daquan Marquise Rolack, 25, of Grovetown, Ga., charged with two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and two counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime;
  • Jared Tyrese Adger, 23, of Augusta, charged with Receipt of a Firearm by a Person Under Indictment;
  •  Dontrell Kydreek Mathis, 30, of Augusta, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of Cocaine.

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:

  • Kareem M. Harris, 38, of Savannah, was sentenced to 90 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers arrested Harris in August 2021 after a brief vehicle and foot chase. He had been sought in relation to an early-morning shooting in July 2021 in Ellis Square in which one person was wounded. Harris has a substantial criminal history including drugs, guns and obstructing police, and state charges including aggravated assault are pending.
  • Jonathan McGregor, 46, of Woodbine, Ga., was sentenced to 72 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin, and Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon. Kingsland Police officers arrested McGregor in November 2020 after finding a loaded pistol, two rifles, drugs and cash in his vehicle during a traffic stop.
  • Gilberto Mojica-Ravelo, 37, of Savannah, was sentenced to 68 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Mojica-Ravelo, who has a previous state conviction on gang charges, was charged following a Dec. 2019 domestic dispute in which Savannah Police officers found a semiautomatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine in his vehicle.
  • Trevor Watson, 31, of Sylvania, was sentenced to 21months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Drug User. Watson was indicted in October 2021 along with eight other defendants in Operation Washout, a drug-trafficking investigation by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.    
  • Davonta Johnson, 31, of Hinesville, Ga., was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to False Statement During Purchase of a Firearm, and Possession of Firearms by a Prohibited Person, relating to a prior conviction for domestic violence. Johnson admitted that he lied in May 2020 about his prior conviction while purchasing a pistol at a Bullock County pawn shop. Hinesville Police arrested Johnson two months later during a traffic stop and found two pistols in his vehicle.  
  • Charles Dean Jones, 26, of Grovetown, Ga., was sentenced to 60 months in prison and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. A Georgia State Patrol trooper charged Jones in November 2021 after an attempted traffic stop, pursuit and crash of the motorcycle Jones was riding in Columbia County. Police found a loaded pistol in the backpack Jones was wearing.   
  • Seth Patrick Anderson, a/k/a “Shane Anderson,” a/k/a “AB,” 37, of Hinesville, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Long County sheriff’s deputies arrested Anderson in October 2021 at a license checkpoint after finding a pistol in the vehicle he was driving. Anderson is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist street gang.
  • Rondell Smith,a/k/a “Rondal Smith,” 27, of Hephzibah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Smith in February 2022 after finding a pistol in his vehicle during a traffic stop. At the time of his arrest, Smith was on supervised release from a 2017 federal conviction for Possession of a Stolen Firearm.
  • Alonzo Ware Henderson, 37, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies investigating a disturbance at a convenience store arrested Henderson in August 2021 after finding a pistol in his pocket. Henderson has multiple prior felony convictions involving violence, drugs and firearms.
  • Joshua Jerome Russell, 27, of Swainsboro, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Discharging a Firearm in a School Zone. A Johnson County Sheriff’s office investigator arrested Russell in August 2022 after seeing Russell exit his vehicle at a Johnson County High School football game, point a pistol in the air and fire multiple times, causing a panic at the stadium. 
  • Tareem Burgess, 39, of Hephzibah, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Burgess after a traffic stop in August 2020 when they found a pistol in his vehicle. Burgess has prior convictions for robbery and family violence.
  • Deon Brown, 31, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, and Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Brown in August 2021 at his residence and found drugs and multiple handguns in his vehicle. Brown has prior convictions for drugs and gun possession.
  • Donald Lorenzo Evans Jr., 44, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Evans in May 2020 after finding drugs and a pistol in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Evans has prior convictions for drug trafficking and domestic violence.
  • Dwight Eady, 40, of Milan, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Eady was arrested in September 2020 after running from a Georgia State Patrol traffic stop in Telfair County. Telfair County Sheriff’s deputies and a Georgia Department of Natural Resources warden later found Eady in a wooded area, along with drugs, ammunition and a semi-automatic pistol. Eady has prior federal and state felony convictions for drug trafficking.
  • Corii Arkeem Bussey, 32, and Darnell Dwight Brown, 30, both of Augusta, await sentencing after pleading guilty to felony charges following a December 2021 shootout at an Augusta convenience store in which a U.S. Postal Service worker and her vehicle were caught in the crossfire. Bussey pled guilty to Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding a Federal Employee and faces up to 20 years in prison, while Brown pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a User of Illegal Drugs and faces up to 10 years in prison.
  • Christopher Napolian Middleton, 34, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers arrested Middleton in December 2021 while responding to a report of a man brandishing a firearm and found a pistol in Middleton’s pocket.
  • Jamar Lavelle Alexander, 35, of Crawfordville, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Taliaferro County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Alexander in November 2020 after finding him passed out behind the wheel of a car parked in the middle of a county highway with a loaded pistol in his lap. Alexander previously was convicted on state charges of weapons possession.
  • Ephelius Artavis Brinson Jr., 28, of Hephzibah, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Brinson in June 2022 after he fled from a traffic stop, leaving behind a backpack containing a loaded pistol and drugs.
  • Diemond Dajion Wimberly, 25, of Augusta, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Wimberly during an April 2022 traffic stop after finding a pistol with a high-capacity magazine in the vehicle.

Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Savannah Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia State Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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 from the ATF on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/atfw-form-4473

Contact

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

Updated December 12, 2022

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Release Number: 148-22