By Joe Johnson
An Athens man who is a convicted felon with a violent criminal history was sentenced this week to slightly more than five years in federal prison after having pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last June to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon convicted felon, according to a release issued by Peter D. Leary, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced 32-year-old Curioki Donta Hyche to serve 63 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal penal system.
According to the release, a confidential informant notified Athens-Clarke County police on Aug. 13, 2019 that Hyche, a known felon, was filmed by store surveillance in the Triangle Plaza area hiding a firearm in some bushes. Police retrieved the weapon, which was a 9mm caliber semiautomatic pistol.
“In pleading guilty, Hyche admitted that he had possessed the pistol and that he knew he was prohibited from having a firearm because it is illegal for convicted felons to possess guns,” according to the release. “Hyche has a prior felony conviction in Athens-Clarke County for aggravated assault.”
“Felons with violent criminal histories who possess guns will face the possibility of federal prosecution,” said Leary. “I want to thank the Athens-Clarke County Police Department for their work in this investigation.”
The investigation was conducted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of the U.S. Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts that focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, DOJ’s initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws by enhancing coordination of federal, state and local authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes.