MACON, Ga. – Two convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories were sentenced to federal prison this week in separate cases, both for violating federal firearms law by illegally possessing guns, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Today, Charles Allen Franklin, 35, of Macon, was sentenced to serve 105 months in federal prison to run consecutive to a prior conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the Superior Court of Bibb County, Georgia after previously pleading guilty in federal court to one count possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. In addition, U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self ordered the defendant serve three years of supervised release. On Wednesday, April 7, Calvin Bernard Collins, 47, of Milledgeville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 45 months in a federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell. Collins’s federal sentence is to be served consecutively to a three-year sentence for theft by conversion in the Superior Court of Jones County, Georgia. Collins previously pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Repeat felons who choose to carry guns in Macon risk landing in federal prison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “Thank you to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and ATF for their work investigating federal gun cases and working to protect the community from violence.”
“It is illegal for any convicted felon to possess a firearm,” said Arthur Peralta, ATF Atlanta Special Agent in Charge. “These illegally possessed guns are most likely to be used in a violent crime and it is these types of guns that we need to get off our streets. ATF will continue to work with our Federal and State partners to improve safety in each and every community we serve.”
“We can hope these sentences send a clear message to convicted felons of the serious consequences of the possession of a firearm. I am grateful for the relationship between the sheriff’s office and our federal partners to continue to remove these potentially dangerous individuals from our streets,” said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.
Franklin was arrested in the early evening of August 9, 2019, after he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Case Street and Munford Road in Macon, then drove an additional two miles before causing a crash with another vehicle at Case Street and Buckner Avenue. The driver of the other vehicle was injured and was transported to the hospital. Franklin was driving on a suspended license, and officers found a loaded revolver in his car, along with 871.2 grams of marijuana and three cell phones. Franklin has multiple felony convictions, including two separate convictions of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in the Superior Court of Bibb County.
Collins was arrested in illegal possession of a firearm on May 14, 2019, outside of the Fish Port restaurant in Macon. Law enforcement was alerted to the scene in the afternoon, and upon approaching Collins, noticed what appeared to be a firearm in his pocket. The police asked Collins if he had a weapon, and Collins reached in his pocket. Collins was told not to reach in his pockets, and the firearm fell out of his pocket during a brief struggle to detain him. Collins has multiple prior convictions, including aggravated assault and kidnapping in the Superior Court of Bibb County, Georgia, and was on probation at the time for the offense of possession of cocaine in the Superior Court of Jones County, Georgia.
The investigations were 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.
These cases are also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. 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.
Both cases were investigated by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Keyes prosecuted the cases 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.