U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner sentenced Demetri Lott, 44, of Ashburn, Georgia, to 9 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of the theft of a firearm from a licensed dealer on June 1.
“Our office is committed to prioritizing prosecutions of those responsible for the greatest gun violence in our communities, including those who illegally traffic in firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.
For his role in the theft of multiple firearms from two Cordele, Georgia gun dealers, Lott is subject to three years of supervised released after his 9 year prison sentence has been served.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners are focused on reducing violent crime in our communities, and to use every available resource at our disposal to reduce gun violence,” said U.S. Attorney Leary.
On November 12, 2020, Lott broke into Wells Hardware & Supply in Cordele and burgled 11 firearms before he stole a rifle, scopes, and ammunition from another Cordele-based gun dealer, Evans Outdoors, on January 2, 2021.
“The theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer and their diversion into the illegal firearms market is a crime that affects us all,” said Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka.
An anonymous tip submitted on January 15th, 2021 to the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department resulted in authorities’ discovery of Lott in a Cordele residence, where he hid in an attic crawl space before he admitted he sold the stolen weapons for drugs and cash.
“FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) burglaries are a top priority for ATF and we are pleased that Mr. Lott has been sentenced to a significant term of incarceration for his crimes,” said ATF agent Kolodka.
According to authorities, Lott has multiple prior felony convictions, which include robbery, burglary, and aggravated battery.
The case was investigated by ATF, the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cordele Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney, Melody Ellis.
Cases like this are prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) describes as “the centerpiece” of “violent crime reduction efforts.”
“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,” said the Middle District of Georgia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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