A felon with a conviction from the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered a guilty plea to an illegal firearms charge this week after being found with a stolen gun and other firearms in the Middle District of Georgia, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Anthony Rodriguez, 33, of Valdosta, Georgia, entered a guilty plea for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sands on October 29, 2019.
A co-defendant, Andrew Wilson Scott, 20, of Lake Park, Georgia entered a guilty plea to possession of stolen firearms before Judge Sands on October 28, 2019. Both defendants face a maximum ten years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years’ supervised release. Both defendants will be sentenced on January 16, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse in Albany. There is no parole in the federal system.
Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call that a vehicle had run off I-75 on January 10, 2019. Mr. Rodriguez was found alone inside the vehicle. Officers observed marijuana in plain sight, and smelled its odor emanating from the vehicle. Mr. Rodriguez consented to a search, and the officers found four handguns, two of which were confirmed stolen from burglaries in Ware County, Georgia and Waycross, Georgia. Officers also recovered ammunition, as well as a dozen bags of marijuana and a quantity of methamphetamine.
Mr. Rodriguez admitted he illegally possessed the guns and drugs. Mr. Rodriguez was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine on December 6, 2012 in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. It is illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms. During the course of the investigation, Defendant Scott admitted to hiding additional weapons in the trunk of his car that Mr. Scott said belonged to Mr. Rodriguez. Mr. Scott also admitted that he unsuccessfully attempted to sell the weapons. Two sawed-off shotguns were discovered in Mr. Scott’s vehicle, as well a 9mm pistol, confirmed stolen in a burglary in Ware County. Mr. Scott knew the weapons were stolen.
“It is a priority of our office to remove illegal firearms from the hands of convicted felons and other criminally minded individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “Prosecuting convicted felons in possession of firearms remains at the forefront of our strategy to reduce violent crime in the Middle District of Georgia. I want to thank the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF for their excellent work in this case.”
The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).