COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced three Columbus men were sentenced to federal prison without a chance for parole for a variety of firearm charges. One man is a known member of the Black Disciples street gang, according to USAO.
All three men were sentenced in U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land’s court room. The U.S. Attorney’s Office described all three Columbus men as having “lengthy criminal histories.”
Roderick Phillips, 27 of Columbus; Clay Pugh, 36 of Columbus; and Jamorris Worthey, 31 of Columbus; were sentenced after previously pleading guilty to the firearm charges they faced in federal court.
Phillips, a member of the Black Disciples street gang, according to the U.S. Attorney, was sentenced on Feb. 25, 2021. He will serve an eight year prison term followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to a statement from the USAO, Phillips was taken into custody on Oct. 12, 2020 for possession of a stolen gun. During his arrest, officers found rounds of ammo in the car Phillips was traveling in, as well as a second stolen firearm.
Phillips had previously been in 2013 for assault in the second degree in the Superior Court of Elmore County, Ala., then convicted again in 2015 for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as well as an aggravated assault in 2019 in the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Ga., according to the the USAO.
“I am thoroughly pleased to see federal prosecution being sought in efforts to interrupt gun and gang violence in Muscogee County. As we move forward, we will continue to work and collaborate with our federal, state and local resources to eradicate gang criminal activity,” said Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman.
Pugh and Worthey were both sentenced on Feb. 23 and will serve seven year prison terms followed by three years of supervised release.
Pugh was sentenced after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Worthey was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.
In Jan. 29, 2020, Pugh was arrested after “accelerating away from officers during a routine traffic stop in Columbus.” He hit a minivan at speeds over 80 miles per hour before running into a pole and taking off on foot, the USAO said. When Pugh was apprehended, officers found heroin and methamphetamine in his car, as well as a .223 caliber pistol with a 60-round drum magazine and a round in the chamber.
Pugh’s license was suspended and he was wanted on outstanding warrants, including possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He had previously been convicted in 2005 of entering auto and armed robbery. Pugh had also been convicted in 2017 in the Superior Court of Muscogee County for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
“I am pleased with the outcome of these cases and I am thankful for our partnership with our
federal partners. We will continue to work together to make cases on violent career criminals. This
type of behavior will not be tolerated in Columbus, Georgia,” said Columbus Police Department
Chief Freddie Blackmon.
Worthey was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a stolen firearm. He was previously indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 11, 2020 on multiple counts, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and an arrest warrant was issued, according to the USAO.
Officers reportedly apprehended Worthey at his home in Columbus, where they seized a stolen pistol, a stolen revolver, multiple rounds of ammunition, and suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia. Worthey had also been previously convicted for burglary, theft by taking a motor vehicle in 2009. In 2013, he was convicted for theft by receiving and fleeing from law enforcement.
In 2017, Worthey was convicted for possession of cocaine and ecstasy with intent to distribute, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. All of his past convictions occurred in the Superior Court of Muscogee County.
“A key component to reducing violence in Columbus is bringing gang members and felons with violent criminal histories who illegally possess guns to justice,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal partners are working actively with local and state law enforcement agencies to ensure that criminals wreaking havoc in Columbus will face lengthy federal prison sentences.”
All three cases were investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In addition, the Worthey case was investigated with
the assistance of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Community
Supervision and U.S. Marshals, according to the USAO.