VALDOSTA, Ga. – An armed Orlando, Florida, convicted felon who was wanted on outstanding warrants for aggravated assault and terroristic threats when he led Georgia deputies on a high-speed chase to evade arrest was convicted by a federal jury late yesterday afternoon of illegally possessing a firearm resulting from a Project Safe Neighborhoods case.
Joshua Granger, 34, of Orlando, Florida, was found guilty of one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon at the conclusion of a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson on Aug. 15. Granger faces a maximum of ten years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2024.
“Our office will hold repeat offenders accountable at the federal level when they illegally possess guns, especially when they lead law enforcement on a high-speed chase that endangers innocent civilians,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our trial team was supported by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office to help bring this defendant to justice.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, a Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop Granger for a traffic violation while he was traveling on Highway 401 on May 26, 2021. Granger attempted to evade arrest, leading law enforcement on a chase at speeds up to 130 miles per hour, crossing into Florida. Officers performed a PIT maneuver, and Granger was apprehended following a foot chase. Officers found a 9mm handgun with a 33-round magazine containing 25 rounds of ammunition inside Granger’s car. At the time of his arrest, Granger was wanted on outstanding warrants for aggravated assault, burglary, terroristic threats and extortion. Granger has prior felony convictions, to include delivery of cocaine and burglary of a dwelling.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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. 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. 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.
The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Couch is prosecuting the case for the Government, with support from Criminal Chief Leah McEwen.