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Macon repeat offenders sentenced to prison under federal firearms law

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Apr. 10—MACON — Two convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories were sentenced to federal prison this week in separate cases, both for violating federal firearms law by illegally possessing guns, acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter D. Leary said.

Charles Allen Franklin, 35, of Macon, was sentenced to serve 105 months in federal prison to run consecutive to a prior conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the Superior Court of Bibb County after previously pleading guilty in federal court to one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. In addition, U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self ordered the defendant to serve three years of supervised release.

Calvin Bernard Collins, 47, of Milledgeville, was sentenced to serve 45 months in a federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell. Collins’ federal sentence is to be served consecutively to a three-year sentence for theft by conversion in the Superior Court of Jones County. Collins previously pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Repeat felons who choose to carry guns in Macon risk landing in federal prison,” Leary said. “Thank you to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and ATF for their work investigating federal gun cases and working to protect the community from violence.”

“It is illegal for any convicted felon to possess a firearm,” ATF Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Arthur Peralta said. “These illegally possessed guns are most likely to be used in a violent crime, and it is these types of guns that we need to get off our streets. ATF will continue to work with our federal and state partners to improve safety in each and every community we serve.”

“We can hope these sentences send a clear message to convicted felons of the serious consequences of the possession of a firearm,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said. “I am grateful for the relationship between the sheriff’s office and our federal partners to continue to remove these potentially dangerous individuals from our streets.”

Franklin was arrested in the early evening of Aug. 9, 2019, after he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Case Street and Munford Road in Macon, then drove an additional two miles before causing a crash with another vehicle at Case Street and Buckner Avenue. The driver of the other vehicle was injured and was transported to the hospital. Franklin was driving on a suspended license, and officers found a loaded revolver in his car, along with 871.2 grams of marijuana and three cellphones. Franklin has multiple felony convictions, including two separate convictions of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in the Superior Court of Bibb County.

Collins was arrested in illegal possession of a firearm on May 14, 2019, outside of the Fish Port restaurant in Macon. Law enforcement was alerted to the scene in the afternoon, and upon approaching Collins, noticed what appeared to be a firearm in his pocket. The police asked Collins if he had a weapon, and Collins reached in his pocket. Collins was told not to reach in his pockets, and the firearm fell out of his pocket during a brief struggle to detain him. Collins has multiple prior convictions, including aggravated assault and kidnapping in the Superior Court of Bibb County, and was on probation at the time for the offense of possession of cocaine in the Superior Court of Jones County.

Both cases were investigated by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Keyes prosecuted the cases for the government.

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