MACON, Ga. – A convicted felon apprehended in possession of a firearm while attempting to break into vehicles in downtown Macon was sentenced to federal prison for his crime, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Matthew Dixon, 33, of Milledgeville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self on Tuesday, March 2, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Dixon previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.
“I applaud law enforcement for working 24/7 in an effort to keep Macon safe. Repeat offenders who are arrested in illegal possession of guns should know they face the possibility of their criminal cases being transferred to the federal court system,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “Thank you to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and ATF for their work in this case.”
“This case represents how potentially dangerous a career criminal with a gun can be. Thanks to the good work of the Bibb deputy and the follow up by federal authorities, this felon will be off our streets for a few years,” said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.
On October 4, 2019, at approximately 1:26 a.m., the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious person trying to break into parked vehicles in downtown Macon. Dixon, matching the complainant’s description and exiting the vehicle described by the complainant, was spotted by the deputy. Dixon fled on foot and the deputy saw Dixon attempt to pull something from his pants with his right hand, which was later found to be a .40 caliber pistol. The deputy repeatedly gave commands for Dixon to stop, but he did not comply and was tased after multiple warnings. Dixon was taken into custody. Dixon was previously convicted of five counts entering an auto in the Superior Court of Baldwin County, Georgia.
The investigation was conducted 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 Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Howard prosecuted the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Officer (Contractor), U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.