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Southwest Georgia Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Possessing a Gun

ALBANY, Ga. – A Southwest Georgia resident with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm.

Tomario Ricardo Hicks, 42, of Albany, was sentenced to serve 180 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner on Nov. 9. Hicks previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Jan. 26. The defendant is not eligible for parole.

“Repeat offenders who continuously disregard the community’s safety and are caught illegally possessing guns will face federal consequences for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Working with our law enforcement partners from every level, we will focus our collective resources to reduce crime and make our neighborhoods as safe as possible.”

“One of ATF’s top priorities is to deny criminals access to firearms and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. The offender illegally had a firearm that subsequently could have been used against our citizens and our communities; ATF takes this very seriously,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka.

According to court documents, Hicks was pulled over for speeding in Albany on Jan. 28, 2022. Hicks threw a quantity of methamphetamine out of his car during the traffic stop and admitted he was carrying a firearm, even though he was a prohibited person. The .380 caliber pistol was located on the driver side floorboard, along with a digital scale in the center console and a box of baggies in the backseat. Hicks has a lengthy criminal history, to include many prior felony convictions for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in Dougherty County, Georgia, Superior Court.

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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit (ADDU). Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid prosecuted the case for the government.

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