Career criminal sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after traffic stop in Columbus

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A career criminal from Phenix City has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after his conviction in 2019.

Freddie Clark, 43, of Phenix City, Ala. was found guilty for criminal gun and drug charges, said U.S. Attorney Charles Peeler.

Clark was sentenced on Feb. 11 to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of the three charges he faced during a September 2019 federal trial.

Officials say Clark was pulled over by a Columbus Police officer for “extreme erratic driving” on March 14, 2018 on Buena Vista Road at 3:30 a.m. Clark did not exit the car as directed by the officer, and when they approached the vehicle, found a pistol on Clark’s lap.

After removing the loaded Ruger .380 from Clark’s lap, the officer took him into custody, records show. Police “found various drugs and 85 grams of methamphetamine on Mr. Clark and inside his vehicle,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to officials, Clark has a record with eight prior felony convictions in Alabama and Georgia.

Following the traffic stop and discovery of drugs, Clark was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

“I hope this stiff 30 year sentence sends a message to all criminals that guns and drugs do not pay in Columbus, Georgia. I want to thank the Columbus Police Department and the ATF for their excellent work in this case,” said Peeler.

Clark’s case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an evidence-based program aimed at reducing violent crimes.

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