Charges include illegal possession of firearms by convicted felons
Five Augusta-area men are headed to federal prison after being sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in separate cases involving firearms.
The five men, each facing U.S. District Court Chief Judge J.Randal Hall, were sentenced to federal prison terms to be followed by a period of supervised release, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
“A cornerstone of our office’s prosecutions is the Prosecutor to Prosecutor Program, in which we collaborate with local district attorneys to determine the best venue for cases,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “As these sentences demonstrate, federal court often is the best option for prosecuting violent criminals with illegally carried firearms, because substantial prison time awaits – with no parole.”
Sentenced in the cases are:
- Darryl Kennedy Daggett, 30, of Augusta, to 188 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Daggett pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Crack Cocaine and Marijuana, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Daggett, who has a history of convictions on state narcotics charges, was arrested in December 2018 by Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies after a search of his vehicle revealed substantial amounts of illegal drugs and a stolen firearm. He was adjudicated as a career offender.
- Steven Williams, 31, of Hephzibah, to 188 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Williams, arrested in June 2019 by Richmond County Sheriff’s investigators, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Because of his substantial criminal record including state convictions for burglary, narcotics and firearms, Williams was adjudicated as an armed career criminal.
- Terry Benjamin Jr. 45, of Augusta, to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Benjamin pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Benjamin, who was found in possession of a pistol in April 2019 after a disturbance at an Augusta hotel, has an extensive record of criminal convictions including crimes involving violence, firearms and drugs.
- Larry Meminger Jr., 34, of Augusta, to 60 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Meminger pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He was charged after a May 2018 report by Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies who responded to a call in which Meminger, claiming a home invasion, had suffered a minor gunshot wound. The investigation determined the wound was accidentally self-inflicted. Meminger, who had outstanding warrants at the time, was located and arrested six months later. Meminger has a substantial criminal record that includes multiple state convictions related to illegal drugs.
- Jerry Kemp Jr., 41, of Wrens, Ga., to 77 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Kemp pled guilty to an Information charging him with Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. He was arrested by the Wrens Police Department in October 2018 after officers responded to reports of a man pointing a firearm. Kemp has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for violence and firearms-related charges.
“These defendants have no business carrying firearms, given their previous criminal conduct,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “These arrests have made the Southern District of Georgia a safer place.
This investigations took place under the umbrella of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.
The cases were investigated by the ATF, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Wrens Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandro V. Pascual IV, Henry W. Syms Jr., and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Marchman Jr.