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Arbery may face 15-year term in federal prison

Special to SEGAZINE

Cortez Arbery, 25, of Brunswick pled guilty earlier this month before Chief United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  If Arbery is determined to be an “armed career criminal,” he faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison.  During the guilty plea hearing, the evidence showed that Arbery possessed a stolen .38 caliber pistol after having been previously convicted of three felony drug offenses.

Arbery’s guilty plea was the latest in a series of federal prosecutions focusing on gun, drug and violent crime in the Brunswick area.  Five others previously pled guilty in federal court for their role in weapons and drug offenses: Gromyko Green, 33, pled guilty to possessing a sawed-off shotgun and cocaine; John Wesley Boone, 27, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm; Calvin Grovener, 24, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm; Patrick Tenney, 23, pled guilty to receiving a firearms while under indictment; and, Reginald Beckham, 19, pled guilty to trafficking crack cocaine.  The sentencings of each of the six defendants will take place after the United States Probation Office conducts pre-sentence investigations.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said the number one priority of the United States Attorney’s Office is the protection of the citizens of the Southern District.  “Those who commit violent offenses in the Brunswick area by trafficking in guns, drugs and the fear of others can expect to have their operations relocated to a federal prison cell.”

All six cases were investigated by the Glynn/Brunswick Violent Crime Task Force, which consists of agents and officers from the ATF, the FBI, the Glynn County Police Department, the Brunswick Police Department, the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia State Probation Office. The Task Force was formed in December 2012 to combat growing gun violence in Glynn County.  Thus far, over 53 guns have been seized.  Investigations are ongoing and further federal prosecutions are expected.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charlie Bourne and Shane Mayes prosecuted the cases on behalf of the United States.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James Durham at (912) 201-2547.

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