VALDOSTA, Ga. – A Florida convicted felon caught traveling in South Georgia with six illegal long guns pleaded guilty for his crime in federal court Tuesday, said Charlie Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Leo Edwin Haney, 30, of Homestead, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson on Tuesday, July 7. Haney, who has prior convictions in Florida for attempted burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, is facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
Haney was pulled over by the Adel Police Department on August 16, 2018. A K9 team conducted a free air sniff of Haney’s vehicle and alerted positively. Officers found a marijuana test kit, several packages of cigarillo wrappers, two gun barrels and six long guns, which were hidden in the spare tire compartment of the vehicle under bags of clothing and other personal items. Haney admitted he knew the guns were there, and that it was illegal for him to have firearms. Haney was previously convicted of attempted burglary in the 16th Judicial Circuit, in Monroe County, Florida on July 30, 2007 and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Alachua County, Florida on March 26, 2013.
“Removing illegal weapons from the hands of convicted felons is a critical part of a common-sense strategy to decrease violent crime, gangs and drug trafficking across the Middle District of Georgia. We will prosecute convicted felons caught with firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “I want to thank the Adel Police Department and the FBI for their good work in our shared commitment to make our communities safer.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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 is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
The case was investigated by the Adel County Police Department and FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.