Two convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories, one of whom is a validated gang member, pleaded guilty this week in separate illegal possession of firearms cases in Columbus, Georgia.
This, according to a press release that Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter D. Leary (pictured above) published this week.
Jermichael Bellamy, 28, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Maurice Toney, 47, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the press release said. Both defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court documents, Bellamy was arrested on outstanding warrants last October.
“Inside Bellamy’s vehicle, law enforcement located a loaded pistol and four loaded magazines, as well as cocaine and a digital scale. Investigators also found poster boards with ‘ABG,’ ‘852’ and gorilla images drawn on them. Bellamy was also wearing a ‘852’ necklace and a ‘852’ tattoo. Bellamy is a member of local hybrid gangs Alleyboy Gang and 852. Bellamy is also a validated member of the Gangster Disciples. Bellamy has prior convictions of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, gang act violation and aggravated assault in the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia,” the press release said.
“Toney was under investigation by ATF in August and September 2020 for trafficking firearms and methamphetamine in the Columbus area. In a recorded controlled-buy operation, Toney sold methamphetamine and three firearms to a confidential informant (CI). The firearms were a 20-gauge pump-action shotgun, a .38SPL revolver and a semi-automatic rifle with one magazine and fifteen rounds of ammunition. Toney was previously convicted of multiple felonies in the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia and the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, including two separate convictions of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.”
The FBI and the Columbus Police Department investigated the Bellamy case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated the Toney case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams is prosecuting both cases.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Columbus-Muscogee County Court House” by Jimmy Emerson CC 2.0.