By Joe Johnson
A federal court judge this week sentenced an Athens man to more than nine years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm by a convicted felon.
U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on Monday ordered 28-year-old Anthony Bernard Holloway to serve 110 months in prison after he pleaded guilty in June to one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.
As part of an investigation by Athens-Clarke County police and Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force, officers in August 2019 executed a search warrant at an Athens apartment looking for evidence of heroin and other drug trafficking.
Holloway was inside the residence and had a loaded semi-automatic pistol. Police also found cocaine and other drug paraphernalia, as well as cash. Holloway admitted that the firearm belonged to him and that he knew it was illegal for him to possess the Ruger .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
“It is illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms and the consequence is prison," said Charles Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Let me be very clear to those who are breaking this law: Our office will prosecute felons caught in possession of guns. Removing firearms from the hands of convicted felons is part of a common-sense strategy to reduce violent crime and make our communities safer.”
According to Peeler, Holloway’s case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, the prosecutor said.
“Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them,” Peeler said. “As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.”
He said that gun cases are also part of Project Guardian, the DOJ’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.