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Multiple Defendants Prosecuted on Federal Firearms, Drug Charges

Human RightsMultiple Defendants Prosecuted on Federal Firearms, Drug Charges

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Newly returned indictments in the Southern District of Georgia include felony charges for illegal firearms possession and drug distribution, while additional defendants have been sentenced to federal prison or await further proceedings after pleading guilty to federal gun charges.

“Illegally possessed firearms continue to present a challenge for law enforcement agencies, including the increasing threat from guns illegally modified for fully automatic fire,” said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “With our law enforcement partners, we will target these illegal weapons and remove them to make our streets safer.”

The cases are prosecuted 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 possess guns.

Those indicted during the March term of the U.S. District Court Grand Jury include:

Jacorey Rivers, 32, of Savannah, charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; Possession of a Machinegun; and Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 or More Grams of Fentanyl.
Christopher Michael Owens, aka “Lambo,” 41, Robert Michael Waltz, aka “Hurricane,” both of Hinesville, and Juan Carlos Rosado Morla, 27, of Gainesville, charged with multiple drug trafficking offenses. Owens and Waltz are charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine. Waltz and Morla are charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine and Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine. Owens is charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Morla is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Marijuana and 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine.
Garland D. Williams, 55, of Hephzibah, charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime.
James Timothy Johnson, 30, of Waycross, charged with Possession of a Machinegun.
Christopher Jeramy Blair, 44, of Pembroke, charged with Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon.

All indicted defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defendants recently adjudicated on federal firearms charges include:

Chester Morgan, 53, of Savannah, was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers arrested Morgan in May 2023 after finding a co-worker’s stolen pistol in his vehicle.
Wesley Rosenberg, 25, of Ludowici, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to Engaging in the Firearms Business Without a License. An ATF investigation determined Rosenberg unlawfully imported and sold firearm silencers.
Isaac C. Brown, 40, of Guyton, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Georgia Ports Authority police conducting enhanced screenings at the Garden City Terminal found a pistol inside Brown’s truck in March 2023.
Joshua Bowser, 29, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers found Bowser in possession of a semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine while serving an arrest warrant related to a shooting in Savannah’s City Market.
Kenneth Oliver Riley, 60, of Savannah, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Savannah Police officers found a revolver in Riley’s pocket during a shooting investigation.
Brian Wesley Dean, 45, of Bloomingdale, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Pooler police officers found a pistol in Dean’s possession during a traffic stop.
Jose Miguel Marrero, 27, and his mother Jacqueline Christmas, 50, both of Statesboro, each await sentencing after pleading guilty to False Statement During the Purchase of a Firearm. An ATF investigation determined that Marrero and Christmas purchased multiple handguns from a Bulloch County gun store, falsely claiming that Marrero was the buyer of the guns when they were actually purchased by and delivered to Christmas’ brother-in-law in New York.

The cases are being prosecuted for the U.S. 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

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Story from www.atf.gov

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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