Two Columbus men sentenced in Project Safe Neighborhood charges, third man enters guilty plea

Local News
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Three separate felony cases came ot their conclusions in Columbus today, according to the District Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Georgia.

“Two defendants involved in separate felony gun cases were sentenced for their crimes this morning,” said Charles Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. A third “pleaded guilty” in his own unrelated case. All three of the cases fell under Project Safe Neighborhoods, “a Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime.”

Project Safe Neighborhoods “is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime,” said the DOJ, “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.”

The first two defendants who were sentenced today were Devante Patterson, 25, and Corneilous Hixson, 22, both of Columbus.

Patterson pleaded guilty to a single count of Theft for a Federal Firearms Licensee and was sentenced to a 27 month term, plus three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $3,793 in restitution “for stealing nine guns from an area firearms dealer in 2017.”

“Mr. Patterson admitted that in the early hours of November 24, 2017, he broke into Shooters of Columbus, a business possessing a federal firearms license to deal in firearms. Once inside, the defendant stole a total of nine firearms, including pistols and rifles. Later that same day, the defendant was arrested attempting to sell some of the stolen firearms at a Columbus pawn shop,” said Peeler’s office.

Hixson was sentenced to a 57 month term for a count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon for a 2018 shooting in a Columbus neighborhood, said Peeler’s office.

Hixson was “apprehended by police” in April 2018, “after it was reported that he had opened fire on a nearby residence.” A loaded .380 caliber pistol was reportedly “removed from his waistband.” Hixson had three prior felony convictions in the state system and was on active probation at the time of his arrest.

Dadge William Parrish, 33, of Columbus pleaded guilty to a count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon today.

Parrish “admitted in his signed plea agreement that he was found in possession of a semiautomatic pistol when police pulled him over” after a chase in March 2018. He had previously been convicted in August 2004 on felony charges of Hijacking by Motor Vehicle and Kidnapping in Treutlen County Superior Court.

“Removing guns from the hands of violent criminals is an essential piece of our effort to reduce violent crime in Columbus and across the Middle District,” said Peeler. “Our office will remained focused on PSN related cases, with the goal to ultimately make our communities safer. I want to especially thank the Columbus Police Department for their good work in both cases, and protecting the citizens of Columbus from further harm.”

The three investigations on Patterson, Hixson, and Parrish were investigated in several combinations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbaco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Columbus Police Department; and the Georgia State Patrol.

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