Commerce man sentenced for illegal possession of an firearm

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ATHENS, Ga. (WRBL) – A convicted felon with a violent criminal history was sentenced to federal prison after admitting he was in illegal possession of a stolen firearm.

Nitgel Williams, 27, of Commerce, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 68 months in prison to run consecutive to the state sentence he is currently serving by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal this morning.

In addition, Judge Royal ordered that Williams serve three years of supervised release. Williams previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Violent criminals found in illegal possession of firearms will face federal prosecution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

Leary went on to praise law enforcement for their work. “Working with our law enforcement partners under Project Safe Neighborhoods, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will do everything within our power to reduce violent crime in Athens and across the Middle District of Georgia by holding repeat, violent offenders accountable for continually disregarding the law.”

According to court documents, Williams was pulled over by an Athens-Clarke County Police Department Officer the night of February 12, 2020, for failing to maintain lane and driving 5-10 mph under the speed limit–both indicators that the driver was impaired.

The officer observed Williams attempting to hide a cut straw, which is commonly used to ingest illegal narcotics, inside the vehicle. During a legal search of William’s vehicle, the officer located cocaine, heroin and a stolen .45 caliber pistol.

Williams was previously convicted of aggravated assault in the Superior Court of Clarke County, Georgia. It is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.

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.

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