MACON, Ga. – An Ellaville, Georgia man, found in possession of a stolen gun by Perry Police officers, pleaded guilty to his crime this week, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.p
Gary Michael Buck, 39, of Ellaville pleaded guilty to one count possession of a stolen firearm before U.S. District Judge Tripp Self on Tuesday, September 15. Buck faces a maximum ten years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for December 8, 2020.
“When we investigate violent crimes in the Middle District of Georgia we often find criminals in possession of stolen guns. We refuse to let stolen guns become the currency of criminals and will federally prosecute those who choose to possess a stolen firearm,” said U.S. Attorney Peeler. “I want to thank the Perry Police Department, FBI and ATF for their tireless efforts to make our communities safer by removing stolen guns from our streets.”
Perry Police Department officers discovered Buck with a stolen firearm on May 1, 2019, after an officer pulled him over for driving with an expired temporary tag and making an illegal traffic maneuver. Buck was recorded admitting the firearm was stolen and also spontaneously told a FBI officer on the way to his arraignment that he knew the gun he possessed was stolen. The stolen firearm was a Hi-Point, Model C-9, 9mm Luger caliber, semi-automatic pistol.
This case was prosecuted as 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.
This 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 Perry Police Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ouzts 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.