Friday, September 4, 2009

Hephzibah Man Charged with Being a Career Criminal in Possession of Stolen Firearm

Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that the federal grand jury sitting in Savannah has returned a two count indictment against Bobby Lee Roberson, age 45, of Hephzibah, Georgia, charging him under the Armed Career Criminal Act with being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm.

Booth stated that the charges in the indictment relate to the February 18, 2008 shooting in the West Lake neighborhood of Martinez, Georgia that was reported in news coverage at the time. Also as reported by news media, the defendant evaded law enforcement officials on this matter until he was arrested on July 27, 2009.

Booth noted that if convicted under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possessing a stolen firearm, the defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. An initial appearance and arraignment date has not yet been set.

Booth explained that this case is part of the district’s Project Ceasefire initiative, a program devoted to reducing gun violence by prosecuting individuals found in possession of firearms who cannot legally possess them, such as felons and drug dealers.

Booth emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Ronald Rhodes conducted the investigation which led to the indictment. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Brian Ozden led the federal efforts to apprehend Roberson while he was a fugitive. The government is represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorney David M. Stewart.

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